We call the branch of law composed by the rules related to the energy that people need in many social and economic activities, its use and regulation of energy sources as Energy Law.
Energy is defined as the capacity of a system to work within the boundaries of physical science. From the perspective of the people, it can be said that energy types are needed to carry out all kinds of vital activities. Energy types are divided as; renewable and non-renewable energy, depending on whether they run out or not; and primary energy and secondary energy, depending on whether they undergo transformation or not. The usage of energy has been provided in various ways since the early ages and there has been a great increase in terms of both usage and diversity in energy along with those of the Industrial Revolution. Even, the energy issue has become so important that the idea of having energy sources has caused World Wars, where millions of people have died. Important developments have come to fruition in energy issue especially in 20th century, many new types of energy and different forms of usage of existing energy sources have settled in human life. They have been energy companies which are the biggest and the most powerful ones in worldwide companies.
That the need for energy increases every day, the energy sources are limited and also some energy sources contaın danger have caused search for solution in this subject. And so, there have been solutions like directing to the renewable energy sources, correct use of underground sources and minimizing the loss of environment. In this direction, usage of energy, its production and situations related to the energy sources have started to be connected to certain norms. So, there has been a branch of law which we call as Energy Law. The first studies on Energy Law are in the middle of 20th century. Even if the international contracts made in these days include some rules about this subject, it has not been arranged as a separate section. Instead, regulations on this issue have been made through secondary legal sources and an Energy Law system that will spread to the whole world has begun to be established.
There have also been developments in our country related to adopt this European originated Energy Law system. While production of energy was provided by public companies which are at the monopoly position (that is, more precisely, executed by state), Electricity Market Law numbered 4628 and Natural Gas Market Law numbered 4646, which came to the force in the end of 20th and at the beginning of 21st centuries, have been arranged by considering that they are in accordance with the sources of Energy Law of European Union and so, the opportunity in which production of electricity and natural gas can be realized in a more liberal manner has been provided.
The energy sector in our country has four basic branches like electricity market, oil market, natural gas market and LPG (liquefied oil gas) market. If we were to examine the legal regulations on these markets:
- Electricity Market: The law which regulates this market is Electricity Market Law numbered 6446 dated 2013. As of the date on which it entered into force, licensing procedures in this law has been facilitated unlike the previous law which liberated the market and so, the opportunity which led a more liberal position in electricity marked has been provided. Moreover, another innovation is the establishment of Energy Exchange in order to increase investments in this area.
- Oil market: This market has been regulated by Oil Market Law numbered 5015 entered into force in 2003 and since then, it has been exposed to many changes. It contextually regulates the petroleum trade to be realized in accordance with the principles of competitive environment.
- Natural gas market: This market has been regulated by Natural Gas Market Law numbered 4646 entered into force in 2001. In this law, the rights and responsibilities of those who contribute to the process of getting natural gas to the users are adhered to set of rules.
- LPG market: The activities related to this market have been regulated by Liquefied Petrol Gases Market Law entered into force in 2005.
Apart from these, there are different sources, especially regarding the electricity market. as examples to these sources, The Law, numbered 5346, on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources for Electricity Generation Production, The Law, numbered 5654, on the Establishment and Operation of Nuclear Power Plants and The Sale of Energy and The Law, numbered 5686, on Geothermal Resources and Natural Mineral Waters. Also, the functioning and supervision of the energy sector in compliance with these laws is carried out by the Energy Market Supervisory Board.
Nuclear Energy Plants
Nuclear Power Plant is the name given to the facilities where the electricity is generated by using radioactive materials using as fuel. These facilities have the advantages of being clean, cheap and being a renewable source, along with the risks associated with operation of radioactive materials. Nuclear power plants, where energy power can be provided to the degree that will bring aliveness to other sectors, lead to many discussions due to their past accidents. The years of survival of these accident’s effects can reach cross-border dimensions and they can cause problems for international law as much as they do for domestic law.in this context, it is one of the most controversial issues to whom responsibility will be belong in case of an accident.
Our domestic law source for regulating nuclear power plants is The Law, numbered 5654, on the Establishment and Operation of Nuclear Power Plants and The Sale of Energy. Because of the ever increasing need for energy in depleted sources, Energy Law is a branch of law which includes some restriction based on international law and also suitable to develop on the search for renewable methods. With their dominance on legislations of international and domestic law, Topo Law Firm in Turkey Office lawyers are always ready to serve you in the solution of your legal problems related to this branch of law.
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