man speaking behind a podium
Dr. Oğuz Can, Director of Department of Energy Efficiency and Environment, MENR, Republic of Turkey

NIRAS successfully launches a new important energy efficiency project in Turkey

Funded by the European Union, this 3.5M EUR project is a jewel in the NIRAS portfolio of energy projects and an important step for Turkey as it strives to develop a more efficient and sustainable economy

27. May 2019

To much anticipation, last month NIRAS officially inaugurated a two-year project strengthening the capacity of the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR) in the field of energy efficiency (EE). The goal is to bring all sectors of the economy in line with the EU’s resource efficiency targets.

Attended by some 100 participants, the opening ceremony welcomed representatives of the energy sector, including public institutions, business and academia. The event started with a series of opening speeches by the honourable guests: Bartosz Przywara, Counsellor, Head of Section - Trade and other EU policies, Delegation of the EU to Turkey; Bülent Özcan, Acting Director General of Financial Cooperation and Project Implementation, Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate for EU Affairs; and Dr. Oğuz Can, Director of Department of Energy Efficiency and Environment, Republic of Turkey MENR. All distinguished speakers emphasised the importance of the project in strengthening the ties between Turkey and the EU, accelerating the harmonisation process in the field of energy and supporting the country in its efforts towards a more efficient and sustainable economy.

Turkey is the world's 60th largest economy and the 6th largest in Europe. Its energy demand has increased the most among the OECD countries in the last ten years. After China, Turkey saw the second biggest demand increase in electricity and natural gas since 2002. MENR projections indicate that this trend will continue in the medium- to long-term. To address these issues, the project is to strengthen the capacity of the ministry in three core areas:

  1. Implementing EE strategies, particularly the Turkish First National Energy Efficiency Action Plan;
  2. Ensuring accuracy in future projections for energy savings potential, including the development of a methodology for calculating energy-saving potentials and a model for EE projections;
  3. Collecting, validating and processing data, by improving the energy efficiency portal (ENVER) through the introduction of new modules.

After some introductory from the consortium Project Director NIRAS’s Adam Iwaszko, the project Team Leader, Dr. Ahmad Husaunndee, further explained how the core areas will be addressed. He elaborated on taking advantage of lessons from EU and international best practices, coordination and involvement of  all relevant stakeholders and ensuring the sustainability of the project results. Dr. Husaunndee also stressed that the project is a great opportunity but also a challenge, considering its large capacity building component, including 17 training sessions of 3-4 days each, ten on-site trainings, covering various sectors of the economy, and five study visits to EU member states.

As a last major point on the agenda, a working session followed with two presentations conducted by international experts. Legal Expert Giovannella D’Andrea  tackled the topic “Best practices in the monitoring of implementation of EED in EU Member States” and Nataliya Grytsenko, and EE Expert from ENSI (part of the NIRAS group), presented “Examples of Provisions for Article 8 of EED”. Both speeches addressed different aspects of the implementation of EU Energy Efficiency Directive in relation to Turkish context and the project. The presentations were followed by a very informative Q&A session.

The opening event marked an official public start of the project, which is important for Turkey, as it addresses the burning issues of its growing economy. Similarly, the project is important for NIRAS as it further strengthens our long-established and well-recognised position as the top contractor for Turkish authorities, successfully delivering large and complex technical assistance projects.