Turkey needs energy efficiency policy

Turkey needs energy efficiency policy

Turkey needs energy efficiency policy

As the country’s energy consumption increases rapidly in line with the large growth rate, Turkey needs to boost savings to become truly independent from its suppliers, a recent report puts. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Turkey’s annual energy consumption is expected to more than double and reach 222 million tons of oil in the next 10 years, according to a recent report by Koç University, which implied that the sole way of narrowing the country’s large energy gap was focusing on savings and efficiency.

“Turkey is very much dependent on its neighboring countries in oil and gas exports. It is especially dependent upon Russia for natural gas and this brings serious problems in its own energy security,” the report said.

Turkey’s energy efficiency report was revealed at a conference organized at Istanbul’s Koç University on Dec. 5 in Istanbul.

Due to Turkey’s dependence upon Russia for natural gas Turkey should pursue a very delicate balanced policy in its relations with the nation, the report said.

According to the report, due to this high dependence on other countries, Turkey should develop a more comprehensive energy strategy in the near future.

“If dependence on other countries cannot be reduced by taking the necessary measures to enforce efficiency in energy consumption, this will be an important factor that ties Turkey’s hands in its foreign policy,” the report said.

Efficiency below standards

“How can a country dependent upon its neighbors for foreign resources at a rate of 75 percent in the energy sector develop in social life and economics? This would affect your economy, social development and your international relationships,” World Energy Council Turkish National Committee Chairman Süreyya Yücelen Özden said at the conference.

“We have to completely change our way of living [to be more] energy efficient otherwise the sensitive and dangerous situation will continue in regards to our energy security,” Özden said.

The report also mentioned that Turkey lags behind OECD countries in energy efficiency and examined the possible improvements in energy efficiency in four main categories, including buildings, industry, transportation, electricity generation and distribution.

“With rational policies and technological improvements a minimum of 20 percent increase is possible in energy efficiency between 2013 and 2023,” one of the academicians who prepared the report, Professor Metin Türkay from Koç University’s Industrial Engineering Department said. “Turkey has to make serious investments to renewable energy resources as well as taking necessary measures to reach max energy efficiency,” Türkay said.