Guler: Turkish market is ready for renewable energy investments

28 October 2008
- 3 min Read

Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Undersecretariat of Treasury and Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) organized a conference on "Opportunities and Expectations in Renewable Energy."

On October 24, 2008, Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Undersecretariat of Treasury and TSKB organized a conference on "Opportunities and Expectations in Renewable Energy" at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Istanbul. The keynote speeches were delivered by Mr. Halil Eroğlu, the CEO and President of TSKB, Mr. Philippe Maystadt, President of European Investment Bank, Mr. Hilmi Güler, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and Mr. Mehmet Şimşek, Minister of State in Charge of Economy. Mr. Ahmet Tıktık, Undersecretary of State Planning Organization, participated in the conference as the moderator of the Panel Session. Panelists of the session were Mr. Hasan Köktaş, President of Energy Market Regulatory Authority, Mr. Selahattin Çimen, Undersecretary of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Ceyhan Saldanlı, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bereket Enerji, Mr. Burak Akgüç, Executive Vice President of TSKB and Mr. Christopher Hurst, Director of Transport and Energy of European Investment Bank. Throughout the conference, all aspects of renewable energy have been extensively discussed among the panelists.

Halil Eroğlu, General Manager, TSKB, stated that they evaluated more than 120 renewable energy projects in the last 5 years, that the number of projects credited and/or being credited by TSKB to produce energy from renewable sources was 70, that the established power by these projects was 2255 MW, and that as of the end of 2007 this rate constituted 17 percent of Turkey’s power generation from renewable energy sources and 5 percent of Turkey’s overall power generation capacity. Eroğlu said that when the renewable energy projects financed by TSKB were completed more than 4 million tons of greenhouse gas emission would be prevented in Turkey annually, and that this rate corresponded to more than 1 percent of Turkey’s overall greenhouse gas emission which was 330 million tons in 2006.

Philippe Maystadt, President of European Investment Bank, remarked that the issue of renewable energy was quite important for the whole world, that the main reason of global warming was the rapid increase in energy consumption, and that the consumption had to be reduced by 60-80 percent. Maystadt indicated that the European Union decided to take immediate action in this matter and aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emission by 20 percent and increasing the share of renewable energy by 20 percent until 2020. Maystadt emphasized that serious measures had to be taken to ensure energy efficiency, that the right supportive instruments were required, that using smart technology and promoting energy conservation played a critical role, and that all alternatives ranging from nuclear energy to renewable energy had to be evaluated carefully. Maystadt added that European Investment Bank was ready to take part in all kinds of projects, that they not only financed energy projects but also maintained energy efficiency in all other projects, and that they supported development of clean technologies and creation of alternative ways.

Hilmi Güler, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, said that the issue of renewable energy was actually not a matter of future but a matter of today, that urgent action had to be taken in the area of renewable energy, and that Turkey was not affected by the global crisis regarding energy initiatives. Güler stated that Turkey was second after China in power and natural gas consumption, that it was in a leading position in many investments, that the energy market was ready for new investments in all aspects, and that the investment banks in Europe and worldwide should evaluate Turkey differently from other countries. Indicating that Turkey proceeds very fast in energy projects and has entered an irreversible process, Güler remarked: “If 100 were produced in 80 years, 60 were produced in 6 years.” Güler asserted that the value of energy investments in Turkey exceeded 30 billion dollars, and that 80 percent of the investments were realized in the renewable energy area. Saying that they prepared the wind, solar power and geothermal maps of Turkey, Güler emphasized that we were among the first 11 countries in the world regarding wind power, that our annual solar power potential was 380 billion KWh, and the geothermal energy which was a very clean type of energy offered many new investment opportunities. Güler said that they aimed at increasing the number of investors in the energy industry from 3,000 to 3 million. Güler also added that energy efficiency was a way of investment, and that they were touring all over the country with their recently started ENVER project, informing people about how to save energy in all areas from bulbs to white goods.

Mehmet Şimşek, Minister of State in Charge of Economy, said that energy was very critical in terms of economy, and carried value with respect to international competition and security. Şimşek asserted that the energy consumption in Turkey had increased by 50 percent since 2002, that the increase in energy prices led to an increase in current deficit and inflation, and that an energy import of 50 billion dollars was expected in 2008. Şimşek stated that the recent decrease was encouraging but not enough, that the energy and financing resources had to be diversified, that they should focus on renewable energy and local resources, that the possibilities offered by the private sector should be used, that the privatization had to be seen as a structural reform and distribution networks had to be privatized, that the security of supply had to be provided and the foreign-source dependency had to be reduced. Şimşek said that they applied the energy market reform successfully, and the transition to rational pricing and automatic price mechanism was very important. Mentioning energy incentives as well, Şimşek asserted that these incentives could have multiple dimensions from R&D to political stability.