Turkey has experienced the world’s second largest increase in demand for energy over the last decade and further growth is predicted to continue at around 7% until 2023. Meeting that growth while ensuring a reliable supply is a major challenge for Turkey.
Part of the solution to this issue is the smart meter which falls under the country’s smart grid roadmap, ‘Turkey Smart Grid 2020 initiative (TAS2020)’.
In an interview with Engerati last year, Mehmet Ertürk, vice president of the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA), said that smart grid in Turkey was inevitable. He explained that the development and wider availability of ICTs and the need to automate the energy sector, along with the growth of renewables, storage and electric vehicles (EVs) are all contributory factors.
Ertürk said that the smart meters will provide “large benefits” in areas where there is a lot of electricity theft.
Standardisation crucial for smart meter growth
Frost & Sullivan says in its report ‘Turkish Electricity Meter Market, Forecast to 2020’,, that while the need to control and monitor consumption and production patterns creates opportunities for pilot projects, large-scale rollouts are stalled by a lack of standardisation and low consumer awareness.
The report shows that while electronic meters dominated the market with 86% share in 2016 and the number of new meters in the market peaked at 4.7m units in 2016 (a new record), the average is expected to be 3.6m units each year until 2020.
Frost & Sullivan Energy & Environment research analyst Irmak Giray says that without significant government support, in terms of standardisation and budgetary allocation, investments in electronic meter installation will be intermittent and channelled toward projects aimed at reducing theft.
Giray adds: "Regulatory support also helps set a target for the transition from mechanical to electronic meters and provides the infrastructure necessary for this migration. As Turkish authorities do not possess adequate technical expertise in smart electricity, international companies have the opportunity to present them with best practices."
Apart from low technical know-how, the market is also troubled by budgetary constraints and security issues. To stay competitive in this environment, meter manufacturers need to collaborate with regulatory authorities as well as perform continuous R&D to ensure interoperability of meters, states the report.
"The competition in the metering market is expected to intensify once it becomes more regulated," noted Giray. "Domestic producers urgently need to gain technological expertise to roll out advanced meters to stave off competition from European and Chinese manufacturers. As more participants enter the market, manufacturers can resort to mergers and acquisitions to obtain the funds needed to invest in new technologies."
Turkey’s largest smart meter pilot a success
March this year saw the completion of Turkey’s largest smart meter pilot to date. The pilot was carried out by CLK Energy, the owner of four distribution service operators (DSOs) – BEDAS, UEDAS, AEDAS and CEDAS, completed Turkey’s largest smart meter pilot alongside DNV GL, independent energy consultant.
The pilot included smart meters from seven different manufacturers, and assessed various implementations of powerline communications (PLC) and wireless communication.
It explored the performance of the diverse technologies in different environments, including both urban and rural areas.
Furthermore, the pilot included a high-level cost-benefit analysis to determine business cases for smart meter rollouts. The results from the CLK-DNV GL pilot will be used as input for further projects in Turkey, including the ongoing Turkey Smart Grid 2020 initiative (TAS2020).