Updated: 17/01/2024

Chapter 15 - Energy


The EU energy policy is based on three principles:

  • Competitiveness
  • Security of supply
  • Sustainability

EU aims to have a balance between these objectives while establishing energy policies.

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), constitutes the legal basis of EU energy policy and establishes energy as an area of shared responsibility between the Union and its Member States. According to Article 194 of the Treaty, each Member State has the right to decide the conditions for exploiting its own energy resources, choose between different energy sources and decide the general structure of its energy supply.

The EU energy legislation lays out the basis for competitive, diverse and cost effective energy market. Developing sustainable energy policies in order to address the challenges of climate change is also one of the main components of the EU’s energy policy.

In order to reform and reorganise Europe’s energy policy into a new European Energy Union, “A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy” was published in 25 February 2015. 

The “Energy Union Framework Strategy” has five mutually-reinforcing and closely interrelated dimensions designed to bring greater energy security, sustainability and competitiveness:

  1. Energy security, solidarity and trust
  2. A fully integrated European energy market
  3. Energy efficiency contributing to moderation of demand,
  4. Decarbonising the economy and
  5. Research, innovation and competitiveness 

The EU shows strong political will and determination to form “common energy policy” by this strategy and accompanying action plan.

One of the concrete outcomes of the Energy Union Framework Strategy was the announcement of the "Clean Energy for all Europeans" package on 30 November 2016 in order to continue to lead the global energy transition efforts following the EU’s ratification of the Paris Agreement.

The EU overhauled its energy policy framework in 2019 in accordance with the legislative acts proposed in the Clean Energy Package, covering issues on energy efficiency, renewable energy, electricity market design, electricity supply security and a governance system for the Energy Union. In addition, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets for 2030 have been updated to support the EU's greenhouse gas emissions reduction target committed under the Paris Agreement.

The regulation regarding the governance of the Energy Union under the Clean Energy Package is aimed at creating a simple, robust and transparent governance system that supports long-term certainty and predictability for investors and enables the EU and Member States to work together to achieve their 2030 goals and the EU's international commitments under the Paris Agreement. In this context, Governance Regulation urged each Member State to prepare a National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) starting from 2021-2030 period, covering the five dimensions of the Energy Union, and outlining how they will achieve their objectives in that regard. Each country must submit a progress report every 2 years,

On 11 December 2019, the European Commission announced the European Green Deal (EGD), which sets goal of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. In line with this new growth strategy of the EU, the EU has entered a period of profound transition that will reshape its entire economy. Decarbonization of the energy system which is responsible for around 75 % of the EU’s GHG emissions, is at the heart of this transition. 

Accordingly, important strategy documents such as Hydrogen Strategy, Renovation Wave, Methane Strategy, Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy and Energy Systems Integration Strategy were adopted in 2020 to initiate the implementation of the EGD. These were followed by the EU Solar Energy Strategy (2022), the European Wind Power Action Plan (2023) and the EU Action Plan on Grids (2023).

On 9 July 2021, the EU published the European Climate Law (Regulation (EU) 2021/1119), which enshrines in law the EU’s objective of becoming climate neutral by 2050, and an intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. The European Climate Law set the stage for a series of regulatory initiatives aimed at achieving aforementioned targets. Accordingly, a package of legislative proposals called "Fit-for-55" was presented by the European Commission on 14 July 2021 and 15 December 2021 in two batches in order to align the EU’s energy and climate regulatory framework with the target of "net domestic reduction of at least 55% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030”.

Under Fit-for-55 Package, work has been carried out on the revision of key EU legislation on climate and energy, including among others, the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Taxation Directive, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Gas Directive and Gas Regulation.

In response to the turmoil in the global energy market accelerated by the impact of the Ukraine war, the Commission published the "REPowerEU" plan (COM/2022/230) on 18 May 2022to accelerate the clean energy transition of the EU and make Europe independent of Russian fossil fuels well before 2030. The REPowerEU Plan focuses on saving energy, producing clean energy, and diversifying the EU’s energy supplies and it further strengthens the related elements of the Fit-for-55 Package.

In this context, the main targets agreed for 2030 are,

  • a minimum 42.5% share of renewable energy with a view to reaching 45%
  • and reducing the final energy consumption at EU level by 11.7%

The REPowerEU Plan has been supported by a series of short and medium term measures to build the new energy infrastructure and system that Europe needs:

Short Term Measures

  • Common purchases of gas, LNG and hydrogen via the EU Energy Platform for all Member States who want to participate as well as Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and the Western Balkans
  • New energy partnerships with reliable suppliers, including future cooperation on renewables and low carbon gases
  • Rapid roll out of solar and wind energy projects combined with renewable hydrogen deployment to save around 50 bcm of gas imports
  • Increase the production of biomethane to save 17 bcm of gas imports
  • Approval of first EU-wide hydrogen projects by the summer
  • An EU Save Energy Communication with recommendations for how citizens and businesses can save around 13 bcm of gas imports
  • Fill gas storage to 80% of capacity by 1 November 2022
  • EU-coordinated demand reduction plans in case of gas supply disruption

Medium-Term Measures to be Completed Before 2027

  • New national REPowerEU Plans under the modified Recovery and Resilience Fund – to support investment and reforms worth €300 billion
  • Boosting industrial decarbonisation with around €3 billion of frontloaded projects under the Innovation Fund
  • New legislation and recommendations for faster permitting of renewables especially in dedicated ‘go–to areas’ with low environmental risk
  • Investments in an integrated and adapted gas and electricity infrastructure network
  • Increased ambition on energy savings by raising the EU-wide target on efficiency for 2030 from 9% to 13%
  • Increase the European renewables target for 2030 from 40% to 45%
  • New EU proposals to ensure industry has access to critical raw materials
  • Regulatory measures to increase energy efficiency in the transport sector
  • A hydrogen accelerator to build 17.5 GW by 2025 of electrolysers to fuel EU industry with homegrown production of 10 million tonnes renewable hydrogen
  • A modern regulatory framework for hydrogen

The EU has also been implementing a number of emergency measures, such as voluntary and mandatory reductions in energy consumption, the imposition of temporary revenue ceilings on low-cost electricity producers, the introduction of a temporary solidarity contribution to excessive profits of fossil fuel-based companies.


The legislation in the context of energy chapter focuses mainly on the internal energy market (electricity and natural gas markets), energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, nuclear safety, radiation protection and security of supply.

Electricity and Natural Gas

The EU's directives on the electricity and natural gas sectors envisage that these markets are fully opened to competition and that all consumers can freely choose their suppliers and they are regulated by independent authorities. Also, improved cross-border trade, ensuring security of supply and providing access to the networks without discrimination by all parties are part of the legislation.

With the Clean Energy Package announced in 2016, a number of revisions were made in the legislation, and the current legislation on the electricity and natural gas markets is listed below:

Renewable Energy

The development of renewable energy sources (RES) is among the main priorities of the EU which appreciates their crucial role in both energy supply security and fighting climate change. Development of related industry for these technologies is also deemed important for the creation of new jobs in the current economic environment within the Europe. The Renewable Energy Directive adopted in 2009 was substantially revised (recast) in 2018, as part of the Clean Energy for all Europeans Package. 

Fit-for-55 package, part of the European Green Deal, included a significant revision of the RED. REPowerEU plan further raised the proposed targets. The revised directive (RED III) was published in the EU Official Journal on 31 October 2023 and entered into force on 20 November 2023. It sets an overall renewable energy target of at least 42.5% binding at EU level by 2030 – with additional 2.5% indicative top up that would allow the overall share to reach 45%.

Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (recast)

Energy efficiency

The EU legislation under energy efficiency covers the eco-design requirements of energy consuming products, cogeneration, energy performance of buildings, daylight saving applications and energy labeling.

The revised Energy Efficiency Directive (EU/2023/1791), published in the Official Journal on 20 September 2023, significantly raises the EU’s ambition on energy efficiency.

It establishes ‘energy efficiency first’ as a fundamental principle of EU energy policy, giving it legal-standing for the first time. In practical terms, this means that energy efficiency must be considered by EU countries in all relevant policy and major investment decisions taken in the energy and non-energy sectors.

The 2023 revision of the directive follows a proposal for a recast directive on energy efficiency put forward by the Commission in July 2021, as part of the EU Green Deal package. The 2021 proposal was further enhanced as part of the REPowerEU plan, presented by the Commission in May 2022, aiming to decrease the EU’s dependency on fossil fuel imports from Russia.

The main legislation on energy efficiency is listed below:

Nuclear safety and radiation protection

The EU acquis on nuclear energy covers issues regarding nuclear safety at all stages of nuclear energy generation, radioactive waste and spent fuel management, radiation protection, decommissioning of nuclear facilities, environmental impacts, economic and fiscal aspects and public awareness.

  • The EU attaches utmost importance to a high level of nuclear safety. A framework Directive in this area has been adopted on 25 June 2009. (Council Directive 2009/71/Euratom of 25 June 2009 establishing a Community Framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations and its amendment Directive 2014/87/Euratom).
  • All member states are required to have a national policy for radioactive waste and spent fuel management (Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom of 19 July 2011 establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste).
  • Furthermore, basic safety standards have been established to protect the public from the dangers of ionizing radiation (Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom of 5 December 2013 laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation). 
  • In addition, Council Directive 2013/51/Euratom focuses on monitoring radioactive substances in water intended for human consumption (Council Directive 2013/51/Euratom of 22 October 2013 laying down requirements for the protection of the health of the general public with regard to radioactive substances in water intended for human consumption)
  • A system of prior authorisation for shipments of radioactive waste was established in the EU in 1992 and amended significantly by Council Directive 2006/117/Euratom of 20 November 2006 on the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste and spent fuel, which aims to guarantee an adequate level of public protection from such shipments.
  • A number of regulations have been adopted over time and amended in order to establish a system of safeguards ensuring that nuclear materials are used only for the purposes declared by their users and that international obligations are complied with, e.g. Commission Regulation (Euratom) No 302/2005 of 8 February 2005 on the application of Euratom safeguards


The energy sector is an area in which Türkiye has achieved considerable alignment with the EU acquis since 2001.

The electricity market and natural gas market laws, which entered into force in 2001, constituted an important step for acquis alignment establishing the necessary legal framework. In the following period, the Electricity Market Law No. 6446, which entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette on 30 March 2013, was an important development in harmonization with the EU's Third Energy Package on the liberalization of energy markets.

The Long Term Agreement which lays down the technical and legislative procedures of the permanent synchronous operation of Turkish Power System with the ENTSO-E was signed on 15 April 2015. Turkish Transmission System Operator, TEİAŞ became an observer member of the ENTSO-E with an agreement signed on 14 January 2016. The agreement on the continuation of observer membership was signed on 13 December 2022 and will run for a period of three years from 1 January 2023.

The two laws that were enacted in 2005 and 2007 regarding renewable energy and energy efficiency, respectively, served as important legal basis and enhanced developments in those fields.

Law No. 5346 on the Use of Renewable Energy Resources (RES) for the Purpose of Generating Electrical Energy was published in the Official Gazette dated 18 May 2005 and numbered 25819. With the amendment made by Law No. 5627, supportive mechanisms such as feed-in-tariff was defined for renewable electricity generation in line with the EU legislation of the period. With the subsequent amendment made by Law No. 6094, a RES support scheme (YEKDEM) have been introduced which differentiated support levels on the basis of the type of renewable technology. In addition, the law paved the way for unlicensed electricity generation.

An investment model called the Renewable Energy Resource Zones (YEKA), where the winner of the tender is granted the right to generate and sell the electricity at the price determined as a result of the competitive process was put into practice in 2016 and accelerated renewable energy investments.

The By-law on Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (YEK-G) in the Electricity Market was entered into force on 1 June 2021. The YEK-G system, the mainframe of which was designed in accordance with the EU’s Guarantees of Origin scheme, enabled supply companies to certify that a given share of the electricity they supplied to consumers was produced from renewable energy sources.

Although energy efficiency efforts in Türkiye gained momentum with the publication of the Energy Efficiency Law No. 5627 in 2007. Legislative studies in compliance with EU legislation have been carried out in areas such as energy performance of buildings, eco-design, energy labeling. Energy Efficiency Strategy Document was published in 2012 and set energy efficiency targets for the year 2023. The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) was published in the Official Gazette dated January 2, 2018.

Action Plan has been implemented in the years between 2017 and 2023 with 55 actions identified in a total of six categories (buildings and services, energy, transport, industry and technology, agriculture and horizontal issues) with the main target of 14% reduction of Türkiye's primary energy consumption in 2023.  The new NEEAP for 2024-2030 was announced by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources on 8 January 2024.

On the other hand, according to the Presidential Circular No. 2019/18 of 15.08.2019 and the Energy Efficiency Law No. 5627, for public buildings that are obliged to appoint energy managers (annual total energy consumption is 250 TEP or more, or the total construction area is 10,000 m2 and above), a minimum 15% energy saving target was defined until the end of 2023. This target has been increased to 30% by 2030, with the Presidential Circular No. 2023/15 dated 4 November 2023.

The current regulatory framework of Türkiye in nuclear energy, nuclear safety  and radiation protection is mostly aligned with the EU acquis. Türkiye participates in international agreements to which the EU is also a party. Most recently Türkiye has joined the "Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management”. Türkiye’s participation in said convention was an issue repeatedly cited in Türkiye Reports prepared by the European Commission.

The EU attaches particular importance to the independence of regulatory institutions. In this framework, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NDK) was established on 9 July 2018 as an independent regulatory institution. Following Türkiye’s voluntary commitment to conduct stress tests using the EU model, Stress test for the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant are being carried out in close cooperation with the European Commission.


The explanatory meeting for the energy chapter was realized between 15-17 May 2006 and the country session was completed between 14-15 June 2006. The legislation in the context of energy chapter focuses mainly on the internal energy market (electricity and natural gas markets), energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, nuclear safety, radiation protection and security of supply. The screening report has not been officially conveyed to Türkiye.

On the other hand, following the European Council Decision on 15 October 2015 to re-energize the accession process, studies for updating the draft screening report have been initiated in November 2015. Draft report has been delivered to the Council at the end of April 2016. The screening report is still in the Council and has not been conveyed to the Turkish side.

A “Positive Agenda” was initiated in in 2012 in order to gain momentum in the negiotiations. In this context, on 14 June 2012, "Türkiye-EU Energy Sector Enhanced Cooperation" document was prepared to create concrete solutions for the energy cooperation. Under the roadmap, working groups were established with our coordination and five working group meetings were organized on electricity sector, natural gas sector, nuclear energy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and ENTSO-E between 2013 and 2014.

In addition, the “High Level Energy Dialogue” was launched on March 16, 2015 and the “Joint Declaration” was published on March 17, 2015 in order to further develop strategic cooperation and dialogue in the field of energy between Türkiye and the EU. At the ministerial level, two meetings have been held so far, and the last meeting was held at the technical level in Brussels on 26 February 2018. On 15 July 2019, the Council of Foreign Affairs of the EU decided not to hold further meetings of the EU-Türkiye high-level dialogues, including TR-EU High Level Energy Dialogue, referring to Türkiye’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

8 subcommittees have been established by the Association Council Decision No. 3/2000 on 11 April 2000 to monitor progress with the priorities of the accession partnership and approximation of legislation. The subcommittees do not have any decision making power. The last meeting of Subcommittee No. 6 on Transport, Environment, Energy and Trans-European Networks was held online on 14-15-16 November 2023.

Although the Energy Chapter has not been opened to negotiations yet, it is among the chapters which we have a high level of alignment (See Türkiye Reports prepared by the European Commission)


For detailed information on the European Union energy policy:


European Commission DG ENERGY website



Programming year Name Beneficiary Status
2002 Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of EMRA EPDK Completed
2003 Complementary Technical Studies for the Synchronization of the Turkish Electrical System with UCTE TEİAŞ Completed
2003 Development of Regulatory Information System for EMRA EPDK Completed
2003 Support to BOTAŞ Regarding Natural Gas Transmission and Transit BOTAŞ Completed
2003 Increasing Energy Efficiency in Turkey EİE Completed
2005 Increasing Public Awareness Regarding Energy Efficiency in Buildings EİE Completed
2006 Strengthening Cross Border Trade TEİAŞ Completed
2007 Improving Frequency Control Performance of Turkey for Synchronous connection to the European Electricity Transmission System (UCTE) Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Completed
2009 Strengthening the Capacity of TEİAŞ TEİAŞ Completed
2010 Harmonization with ENTSO-E Network Regulation TEİAŞ Completed
2011 Improving Energy Efficiency in Buildings Ministry of Environment and Urbanization Completed
2012 Energy Sector Programme-Phase 1 Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Completed
2013 SIF (Sector Identification Fiche) Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, TAEK, BOTAŞ Completed
2015 TA for Enhancement of Institutional Capacity in Energy Efficiency ETKB Completed
2015 Supply of Equipment for Improvement of Natural Gas Network BOTAŞ Completed
2015 TA for Improvement of Natural Gas Network BOTAŞ Completed
2015 TA for Development of Performance-based Tariff Mechanism EPDK Completed
2015 Supply of Equipment for Res and En. Eff. Support for Municipalities and Universities Municipalities and Universities Completed
2015 TA for Res and En. Eff. Support for Municipalities and Universities Municipalities and Universities Completed





Updated: 17/01/2024 / Hit: 119,144