This article develops a critical perspective on the water-energy nexus under transformation and introduces ‘infrastructure’ as a conceptual-analytical reference point for revealing relations between water and energy and in understanding how they work. By utilizing this approach, the article focuses on the emergence of a liberalized electricity market and the launch of a hydroelectricity program under the neoliberal water and energy policies of the Turkish state. Through a case study of the hydroelectricity infrastructures in the İkizdere River Basin, the article demonstrates that the liberalized electricity market exerts implicitly ‘structural tensions’ on the hydroelectricity companies on the local level to minimize the natural variability of the river. In return, the hydroelectricity companies built infrastructures in the form of water storage and chained configurations that take the role of providing electricity to the market in a predetermined manner. Hence, they take the control of river flow and regulate it with environmental, social, economic and political consequences. This article hopes to open a door for an infrastructure-oriented direction of research addressing the social, political, economic and environmental nexus relations that are mostly hidden and unvoiced operating on the local scale, and have major implications for the environment and the livelihoods.
Eren, A. (2018). Transformation of the water-energy nexus in Turkey: Re-imagining hydroelectricity infrastructure. Energy Research and Social Science, 41, 22–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2018.04.013