‘Renewables not a substitute for oil’

‘Renewables not a substitute for oil’

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
‘Renewables not a substitute for oil’

Deputy Minisiter Mercan says the world is experiencing an energy imbalance. AA photo

Renewable energy sources are no substitute for oil and natural gas, former Italian Prime Minister Lamberto Dini said yesterday at a session on “Energy and Economy, Ecology and Sustainable Development” at the 15th Eurasian Economic Summit in Istanbul.

Fossil fuels comprise some 80 percent of total energy supplies, according to Dini, who is also the current president of the Foreign Affairs Senate Committee.

“Thus, we should not think that renewable resources can substitute for oil and natural gas. This will not happen today or tomorrow,” he said, adding that the energy demands of Western countries had increased despite the economic slowdown. “It is clear that Turkey will be an energy hub as it has become a transit point toward the Central Asia, Middle Eastern and European markets.”

Turkish Deputy Energy Minister Murat Mercan Turkey aimed for increasing the share of renewable energy to to 30 percent and add 5 percent nuclear energy. The world is experiencing a imbalance between supply and demand, he said.

Nation-states cannot bear the responsibility of the energy issue alone, former Austrian Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Erhard Busek said at the same session.

“Responsibility in energy has belonged to nation-states up to now. But they are not powerful enough to tackle this issue by themselves. From now on, it has to become a common responsibility.”

The EU does not handle the issue of energy issue as a unit, he said, adding that regional cooperation in energy was very important. Energy should become a common issue, especially in the southeastern EU countries or the Balkans, he said.

Georgia has offered an alternative to the world in energy diversification, said Georgian Deputy Minister Giorgi Baramidze during his speech at the session. “There are many energy lines [in the region]. Most of them go through Georgia. We will continue to play a constructive role and diversify energy [sources] in this context,” he said.