BY MEHMET KARA
The business world, which started the new year with energy price hikes, is now facing natural gas and power outages. Turkish legislation clearly lays out how and why natural gas and electricity can be cut.
First, the natural gas provided to natural gas-fired combined cycle power plants (CCPP is cut), then come industrial enterprises with large-scale gas consumption. If that’s not enough, houses come next. But hasn’t been seen very often.
Apart from being in the dark in the middle of winter, there is a risk that millions of people will be cold at their homes if the natural gas to power plants is cut. Kombi boilers need electricity to heat houses.
So why are natural gas and electricity insufficient?
The main reason for this is the demand increase due to extreme cold. The news that Iran suspended natural gas exports to Turkey was the last straw.
This isn’t new. The gas supplied to Turkey can be suspended whenever Iran experiences a heavy winter. The priority is the country’s own needs. People haven’t felt these cuts because they weren’t that common in recent years. But the situation is different this year.
Can’t we receive more gas from other pipelines? We can. But it won’t be enough to fill the deficit created by the pipeline subject to the cut. The same situation applies to stored gas and liquified natural gas (LNG). Even if gas is found, it will be useless when the need is in the East and the gas is at the entry point in the West.
What about the power outage? Turkey has a surplus in terms of installed capacity. But there is no available total power to meet the need when consumption peaks. The state of transmission infrastructure is also important. You may not be able to transmit the electricity you want from the place where you can generate it to the point of need.
In brief, cuts are normal in line with such an increase in demand. What is abnormal is the inability to prepare for this. Those who critique this are told to be quiet.
However, industrialists shouldn’t be afraid as energy cuts won’t last too long. The situation will ameliorate after weather conditions normalize. But the country’s energy management needs to figure out how to prepare for even the most adverse of situations.
Let’s answer the question we posed at the top: Yes, energy cuts were inevitable to some extent. But not to this extent.