Turkey is planning to spend $5 billion on smart power grids during the next three years in an effort to boost network efficiency, but this plan should also boost ties with the US. It's been predicted that closer cooperation will develop between the Turkish government and energy companies, and the companies in the US that make smart grid technologies.
The investment comes at a time when Turkey is forecasting that demand for power will grow annually at 6.3% for the next 20 years. This means the industry will expand dramatically, something that is already interacting large investors such as the General Electric Company. The increase in demand has boosted the need for smart grids.
These smart grids allow power generators and power users to monitor consumption, reducing costs and saving energy in the process. Last year, according to figures from the Turkish Electricity Transmission Company, demand for energy grew by 5.1%, while its generation grew by just 4.2%. Smart grids can provide accurate metering and billing which will become more vital as Turkish citizens become wealthier.
It's likely this wealth will lead to more people wanting to buy air conditioning units, and many more may invest in electric vehicles and solar power, all of which need smart grids to function efficiently. In 2009 the World Bank decided to invest in its first smart grid project in Turkey as part of its plan to provide money for clean power projects in developing countries.
Turkey was one of the first countries to benefit from the Clean Technology Fund, and at the time it received praise from the World Bank for being amongst the leaders in developing countries who are creating energy efficiency and clean power projects. In addition Turkey received praise for its action on climate change, something that could help its bid for European Union membership.