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Elder Press Conference Cigdem Yorgancioglu Impressions – Intercaptions…


Electricity Distribution Services Association (Elder), which continues its activities as an umbrella organization of which electricity distribution companies engaged in electricity distribution activities throughout the country  are members, to evaluate the energy outlook in the world and in Turkey and the strategic position of the electricity distribution sector in energy transformation, Chairman of the Board of Directors Barış Erdeniz and He brought together the invited press at the breakfast meeting held at Feriye Palace. Erdeniz held his first press conference after taking office at Feriye Palace in Istanbul on May 20, 2024, the anniversary of Elder’s founding. Elder’s 10. Barış Erdeniz, who was elected as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Ordinary General Assembly, was accompanied by Fakir Hüseyin Erdoğan, Secretary General of the Elder, and Ali Rıza Dinç, a member of the Executive Board of the Elder.One of the invited participants of the breakfast meeting was Energy Contracts Expert Forensic Expert, Risk Expert Economist and Energy Newspaper Senior Editor-Research Writer H.Çiğdem Yorgancıoğlu.

This article is written to discuss Yorgancıoğlu’s impressions of the Elder press  meeting, the questions She asked during the interlinear evaluation, and the issues highlighted in the agenda items.

With the permission of Elder and some images from the presentations shared by them will also be included in this article

The topics covered in the general program flow of the meeting were briefly collected under the following headings. World Energy Outlook, Turkey Energy Outlook, Sustainability of Investments for Green Transformation, Electrification and Green Transformation, Electricity Distribution Sector Outlook. Each title was processed one by one.

First drawing attention to the agenda issues and the meaning of the movement in the Elder logo, Erdeniz also pointed out that the use of lowercase letters represents modesty. The logo remind me the mathematical artwork and illustrations of Maurits Cornelis Escher was a Dutch graphic artist.

We observed the principles and values of  Elder from the presentat,ion . Trust, Transparency, Participation, Innovation and Agility.

Noting that Elder is 25 years old, Erdeniz said that the electricity ecosystem in Turkey represents 3.5 percent of the gross domestic product with a size of 915 billion TL in 2023 figures. The electricity distribution sector also employs approximately 100 thousand employees directly and indirectly. Stating that it serves nearly 50 million subscribers, Erdeniz underlined that 21 member distribution companies contributed approximately 29 billion dollars to the Treasury, that is, to the Turkish economy, with approximately 16 billion dollars of investment and 13 billion dollars of privatization provided to the public in the 2011-2013 period.


Within the framework of the European Union’s “Green Deal” program, we are in a reality where Turkey’s industrial sector tends to operate without carbon emissions or with low carbon emissions while producing, and exporting companies to meet their electricity needs from renewable sources. The green transition is inevitable.

The center and most prominent part of many issues discussed at the press conference was the issue of price and subsidy.To summarize in the simplest terms, we understand that causality and cause-effect relationships are established as follows.

– The electricity distribution sector is the most important carrier of green transformation,

– Sustainability in the market is a must for green transformation,

– “Pricing close to real cost for sustainability”

At the meeting, Elder President Erdeniz stated that the amount of subsidy in electricity will reach 5.7 billion dollars this year and said, “For sustainable sector development, it is important to move the prices to a level that reflects the costs.” Erdeniz reflected his view on the issue of price and subsidy, which was the most prominent topic of the day, as follows.

Erdeniz, instead of subsidies for electricity consumption, it is necessary to switch to a price model that reflects market prices, because prices remain constant while electricity costs continue to increase. This situation increases the need for subsidies day by day. It is necessary to approach prices that will approximate the real cost. This is a necessity in order to reach a sustainable energy market. After such emphasis and during the statements, the general opinion in the hall was “a big increase is at the door.”

The emphasis between the lines that electricity prices have not changed for 26 months was also considered as one of the statements that strengthened this expectation in the eyes of the participants. In summary, Erdeniz said that instead of subsidies for electricity consumption, there should be a price model that reflects the prices in the market. In the last reflection (powerpoint slide) in the presentation shared during the meeting, under the title of Sustainable Price Policy for Tomorrow’s Grid, the reference to the gap between inflation and electricity tariff was remarkable.


In Turkey, electricity used by households and small businesses is subsidized. If the call of the electricity distribution companies comes true, there may be signals that there may be a big increase in the residential electricity tariff.

According to EPİAŞ’s data, the average market price of electricity in May is 2 thousand 333 TL. According to EMRA, the price for a house is 48 kuruş below the daily consumption of 8 kilowatt-hours, and 113 kuruş above it. In other words, the price of one megawatt hour is 480 TL and 1130 TL for residences.

Invoiced electricity consumption in Turkey is at the level of 260 billion kW/h this year. 120 billion kW/h of the electricity used, that is, approximately half, is sold at subsidized prices, referred to as regulated tariffs. Half of the subsidized consumption, that is, 60 billion kW/h consumption, is made by residences.

Households in Turkey consume at the subsidized tariff, while large-scale subscribers operating in the manufacturing and service sector receive electricity through bilateral agreements formed in the electricity market that reflect the production costs.


Stating that the electricity generation facilities to be established in the coming period will be designed and built based on renewable resources in accordance with the global net-zero targets, Barış Erdeniz said, “Research shows that more than half of the total global installed power will be met from renewable resources in 2040. “The role of electricity distribution companies in realizing this prediction and ensuring green transformation is strategic,” he said.

The meeting, in which the message “The electricity distribution sector is the most important carrier of green transformation” was highlighted, reminded us of the acceptance of the Electricity Distribution Services Association (ELDER) among the official observers of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Elder was among the institutions accepted as official observers in the COP sessions announced by the United Nations (UN) on December 12, 2023.


Emphasizing the increasing trend in electricity consumption both in the world and in Turkey, Erdeniz said, “We call the transition to electrical energy in sectors and processes where different forms of energy are used, electrification. While this new structure increases the demand for electricity, it also makes the production of electricity from clean sources much more critical as a requirement of the fight against climate change. We cannot complete the green transformation cycle without the grid transformation carried out by electricity distribution companies, which is the bridge between the green transformation in electricity production and the increasing consumption focused on electrification. The sector in which electrification is expanding most rapidly is undoubtedly transportation. According to 2023 year-end data, there are approximately 81 thousand electric vehicles registered in Turkey. This figure corresponds to 5 per thousand in the total automobile stock. In 2035, this figure is expected to increase 52 times to 4.2 million, meaning 13 percent of cars will be electric. In parallel with the increase in electric vehicles, it is within the projections of EMRA that the number of vehicle charging sockets will increase by 29 times to approximately 248 thousand. “Undoubtedly, in order to meet the increasing need, new connection and transformer investments of electricity distribution companies in these regions will become more critical in the next 10 years,” he said.


Pointing out that Turkey, which consumed 330 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2023 according to the National Energy Plan, is estimated to increase this amount by 55 percent to 511 billion kilowatt-hours in 2035, Elder President Barış Erdeniz said, “In parallel with this increase in demand, our installed power will increase by 100 percent.” “It is estimated that it will increase by 78% to 190 thousand megawatt hours,” he said.


As it is known, in the Net Zero Emission Scenario of the International Energy Agency (IAA) until 2050, wind and solar are expected to account for almost 90% of the increase. The usage area of energy is expanding with the implementation of renewable energy projects and the adoption of new technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps. At this point, larger, stronger and smarter grids need to be created to strengthen and expand countries’ transition to net zero emissions. In this regard, in order to achieve energy and climate targets; In the context of developed and developing economies, it is essential to overcome possible obstacles in energy permits originating from local authorities or the public, to update the regulatory frameworks that will support the right investments, and to improve existing regulation methods. Likewise, providing favorable financing conditions is equally important. Meanwhile, as renewables accelerate, the delay in grid development, in other words, the fact that grid expansions follow renewable investments, will generate problems in the sector. This network is also important to avoid any disruption in safe passage.

As for the topic of the day and the agenda, at the Elder meeting, Barış Erdeniz pointed out that, according to the projections of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Turkey will continue to accelerate the transition from the use of fossil fuels to renewable resources in electricity generation, in line with the 2053 net-zero targets and energy supply security policies. Erdeniz said, “While the share of wind and solar in Turkey’s installed capacity has increased eightfold in the last 10 years, reaching 22 percent, this rate is expected to increase to 43 percent in 2035.”


During the meeting, the emphasis on the MASS system was also between the lines. In short, the foundations of the MASS project were laid in the Turkey Smart Grids 2023 (TAŞ2023) project, which set out with the aim of creating and transforming a smart grid infrastructure based on domestic resources. All smart meter system component manufacturers in Turkey, EMRA, TEDAŞ, Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, gas distribution companies, municipalities and other public institutions and organizations are involved as stakeholders of the project. In the project, it is possible to develop the domestic and national smart meter system with all its components, from the communication protocol to the modem, to the creation of meters according to different user groups. Currently, Elder has various R&D projects developed based on this system.


Again, an issue that was between the lines and emphasized in the topics on the agenda was Digital maturity. In line with Elder’s findings, it is observed that the Turkish distribution sector should have reached a certain level of digital maturity in certain areas, although it differs with the dynamics of the region and its customer portfolio. For this reason, within the scope of the project on digital maturity, studies are carried out to evaluate the current digital maturity of the sector and to determine the investment needs required to increase its digital maturity and to create a development roadmap specific to each distribution company, region and strategy.

After the presentations, the question and answer session took place.

An important issue that came up between the lines of the day was that Elder was sensitive to the fact that he would not use any anti-competitive words during the answer to questions from the press, as Elder inherently aimed at contributing to the formation of a competition-based free market.

The focus of the questions posed by Çiğdem Yorgancıoğlu during the meeting was to raise standards and provide concrete examples of the differences created by national and domestic technologies. Another question was whether there were any studies on University and Sector collaborations. At the meeting at the Incubation Centers, we received information that Elder is currently actively carrying out these studies and is currently working with 7 universities. Another question was the role of education in developing a perspective on the issue of behavioral change in saving, which was highlighted during the meeting on energy. Regarding the savings emphasized in the explanations, attention was drawn to the importance of drawing attention to the conceptual differences between saving and efficiency in electricity. After the meeting, Yorgancıoğlu asked some questions about the earthquake and disaster preparedness of SCADA systems, systems, networks and infrastructures, and the answers were received that they were prepared in this regard.

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