World Energy Council Turkish National Committee (DEK – TMK) was founded in 1949 as an “organisation serving the public interest” and acts as a roof organisation for energy related NGOs operating in the country (www.dunyaenerji.org.tr). Presently, the Committee has a wide range of members from all energy related industries from public/private sector, energy associations to universities, experts, NGOs and private individuals. The committee’s main objective is to facilitate dialogue on domestic and global energy issues via various activities and events, as well as international projects, national reports and related publications (For more: @WEC_Turkey).
The Committee hosted the 23rd World Energy Congress in October 2016. The Congress, under the theme of “Embracing new Frontiers”, was held in Istanbul with the participation of 4 Heads of State, 56 Ministers and more than 5.500 representatives from 151 countries including 266 speakers.
Alparslan Bayraktar serves as the Deputy Undersecretary of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR) of Turkey and previously served as the General Director of Foreign Affairs and the EU. Prior to joining the Ministry, Mr. Bayraktar worked as a commissioner in Energy Market Regulatory Authority of Turkey (EMRA). Before public sector, he worked in private sector in energy and information technology fields both in Turkey and the US.
Mr. Bayraktar holds positions in various international organizations involved in energy governance. He is the Chairman of Advisory Board of Energy Regulators Regional Association (ERRA), an organization focusing on improving energy regulation in 37 member countries and increasing access to energy regulatory experience around the world, where he previously served as the Chairman. Mr. Bayraktar was also the Chairman of International Confederation of Energy Regulators (ICER), a framework with an objective of improving cooperation between regulatory authorities to contribute sustainability targets on a global scale.
Mr. Bayraktar received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, LLM in Law and Economics from Bilkent University and MA in International Relations from Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is an Adjunct Faculty at Bilkent University where he teaches Energy Law and Policy.
Energy in Turkey
Turkey’s Action Priorities for 2020 are in line with the global trend toward renewable energies and energy efficiency; economic growth is a central issue in how fast the country transitions to scaling renewable energies and energy efficiency mechanisms that can effectively reduce demand while maintaining growth. Critical Uncertainties are Russia, EU Cohesion and Middle East Dynamics.
Middle East Dynamics has increased dramatically in impact, becoming the leading Critical Uncertainty. Turkey’s location makes it impossible for the country to avoid the impact of events in the Middle East. Regional instability, in particular in neighbouring countries, is also a cause of uncertainty.
Russia is another critical uncertainty most likely due to the country’s involvement in the Syrian conflict on the political front. Another area of uncertainty concerns the Turkstream pipeline, planned to carry Russian gas directly to Turkey upon completion. The project has a strategic importance for Turkey as it will help to enhance gas security by eliminating third party related transit risks (such as the Russia – Ukraine dispute). For this reason, Turkey remains focused on ensuring that the TurkStream pipeline becomes operational.
Nuclear is perceived as a Critical Uncertainty as Turkey currently does not have any nuclear power plant and as the first of such facilities is expected to come online in 2023. The government has announced its intentions to build three more nuclear power plants with four reactors, each to reach capacity of 100GW by 2030.
Energy Efficiency: Turkey’s 2018 National Energy Efficiency Action Plan outlined a road for efficiency improvements in industry, construction and other sectors. In late 2019, the Ministry of Energy announced public and private investment commitments of US$10 billion in energy efficiency over the next 10 years. These are expected to generate US$30 billion savings until 2033.
Economic Growth is seen with low uncertainty as recession forecasts by the World Bank and rating agencies have been revised. New reports indicate a recovery and up to 5% growth in coming years. These revisions cite an improving current account balance, continued economic growth and falling inflation. Gradual improvement in domestic demand and net exports are also expected given reliance on fiscal stimulus and on evidence of previously achieved positive exports revenue.
Renewable Energies’ positive outlook is based on the achievement of 46% electricity generated from renewable resources during the first 10 months of 2019, reaching the country’s objective of producing two-thirds of electricity from local and renewable resources. The Ministry of Energy has set more ambitious targets for the years to come. Private sector engagement is seen as a key enabler of this change.
Developments in IoT/Blockchain and Data AI are at the epicentre of Turkey’s energy concerns. In addition, policies toward a low carbon future are gaining importance and driving energy leaders’ action priorities. All the critical uncertainties and action priorities are in line with energy policies of the country. Many of Turkey’s ambitious energy strategies prioritise energy security, reducing adverse economic impacts of increasing energy imports, increasing market competitiveness and investment on renewable energy and energy efficiency.