Turkey: Power Outage At Datça Peninsula – OpEd


The Datça Peninsula experienced a serious power outage on the night of July 16, 2023, around 10 PM. The power returned the following morning, only to go out again in the afternoon. This pattern of daily power interruptions continues.

We followed the situation on social media, which revealed significant impacts on businesses and daily life. Crucial goods that required cold storage spoiled, forcing major markets to close. The quality of food in restaurants deteriorated, and tourists chose to leave, leading to vacant hotels. Domestic food supplies also spoiled, and electrical devices sustained damage. Water pumps ceased to function, leading to water cuts, and the lack of power also disrupted the internet, telephones, and POS devices, effectively halting daily life and the local economy.

The Datça Peninsula does not have a thermal power plant, but it does boast numerous wind and solar energy facilities. The electricity produced from these sources typically meets the peninsula’s demand, except during July and August when the population significantly increases due to vacationers. Dares Res and Datça Fernas generate 41.6 Mwe and 12.5 Mwe of electricity, respectively. This production capacity is sufficient for the peninsula, but reinforcement of the power transformers and regulation of air conditioning units are required for efficient electricity distribution.

In addition to the wind energy investments in Datça, there are also small-capacity rooftop solar energy systems for residential and greenhouse use. Many vacationers meet their hot water needs through simple solar systems, saving on direct electricity usage.

However, in the summer months, when temperatures exceed 40C, constant use of air conditioners in homes, businesses, and markets overload the distribution transformers, causing them to malfunction. Hopefully, necessary upgrades and improvements will be made to the existing transformers without much delay.

Policies for combating climate change and constructing a sustainable future are of vital importance. However, these policies can carry significant financial risks alongside their environmental benefits.

Renewable energy investments highlight the financial risks of climate policies. Another significant financial risk created by climate policies is the phenomenon of “stranded assets”. In recent years, numerous coal companies in the United States have gone bankrupt due to decreasing demand and increasing environmental compliance costs driven by climate policies and the transition to clean energy. This situation shows that industries reliant on fossil fuels, and those investing in them, face potential financial risks in transitioning to a low carbon economy.

The US serves as an example of how changing political priorities respond to climate policies and how these changes impact financial risks. In recent years, the US’s climate change and renewable energy policies have varied greatly based on different administrations’ priorities. This variability creates uncertainty for investors and businesses and has hindered the growth of the renewable energy sector at times.

Carbon markets and emission rights pricing are another significant financial impact of climate policies. The European Union’s Emission Trading System (EU ETS) provides a concrete example of how fluctuations in emission rights prices can impact investors and businesses. Such variations in carbon prices can pose substantial financial risks, especially for businesses with high carbon emissions.

Climate policies can also have adverse effects on local communities and workers. For instance, local communities operating in the fossil fuel industries may face job losses and economic uncertainties due to the energy transition.

Considering the social impacts of climate policies implies that policymakers need to take measures to protect local communities and workers from adverse effects. Creating new job opportunities in the renewable energy sectors, retraining workers, and support programs to assist communities in managing the economic transition can be effective strategies in this regard.

From market volatility to policy uncertainty, social impacts to stranded assets, a range of factors form the intersection of climate policies and financial risks. Careful assessment and management of these risks are vital for businesses and economies to maintain financial stability while supporting a sustainable future.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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