The “District Energy Systems for a Sustainable Future” conference in Izmir emphasized that a legal framework feasible for consumers, investors, and the environment is on the drawing board at the Turkish ministry, and that fruitful cooperation between Danish and Turkish companies is on the horizon. The Royal Danish Embassy of Ankara and the Danish Energy Agency had the pleasure of attending this enlightening conference, which was organized by the Danish Trade Council in Istanbul.
Currently, less than 1% of the heating demand in Turkey comes from district heating. In comparison, 65% of Danish heating demand is covered by district heating, and this percentage is still growing. This represents a beneficial opportunity for public and private stakeholders in Denmark and Turkey, which is why the conference attracted more than 90 participants who also saw this development as a mutual opportunity. Anette Galskjøt, Danish Consul General in Istanbul, opened the conference and the Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Abdullah Tancan, kindly endorsed the increased importance given to the district heating sector in his opening remarks of the conference.
The conference involved several expert presentations and roundtable discussions during which the visions for district energy systems in Turkey. It also included discussions regarding project financing and best practice examples on implementation of district heating and cooling from Turkey and Denmark. The Danish companies; Logstor, Kamstrup, Danfoss, Broen, and Aalborg Energie Technik shared knowledge on their solutions contributing to the district heating sector in Denmark and how they positively could contribute in Turkey. Another important part of the agenda was the upcoming first ever Heat Market Law in Turkey. The Danish-Turkish Strategic Sector Cooperation is working on the matter in order to create a framework that will be feasible for citizens, investors and the environment. This session took form of an interactive workshop with the objective of obtaining input and feedback from main stakeholders in Turkey. The 2nd day of the conference saw some of the participants visiting a thermal power plant and distribution centre in Soma/Manisa, which is currently serving 8,700 citizens in the area. This was a successful example of the potential of district heating in Turkey, which additionally delivers inspiration to the development of the legal framework.
Turkey has great potential in district heating due to geographical advantages within the country which internal studies made by the Danish Energy Agency confirm. Furthermore, currently the price of district heating in some networks in Turkey using geothermal energy sources is around 40% lower than the current main source of energy: natural gas. In the current Turkish economy, this could evolve into a beneficial game changer by decreasing the import of expensive energy sources. Therefore, Danish and Turkish stakeholders have great opportunities and possible business advantages cooperating with one another in the future.