US companies seek local energy accords
Sera De Vor ANKARA
US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance. AA photoTurkey’s goal to become one of the world’s top 10 economies by 2023 may falter if it fails to invest enough in energy, a U.S. official said yesterday as he led a delegation of American businessmen looking for energy deals in Turkey.
“Turkey has set a very ambitious aspiration to be a top 10 economy by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the modern Republic,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance (MAC) Michael Camunez said in a speech at the Ankara Industry Chamber (ASO). “To achieve this goal, Turkey will have to triple the size of its economy, which will require significant foreign investment. Investments in the energy sector are one of the key factors for Turkey to achieve that goal.”
He said Turkey would need $200 billion in foreign investment in order to draw 30 percent of its electricity supply from renewable sources in the next 12 years, in addition to using the best technology available worldwide.
Camunez visited Ankara at the helm of a delegation made up of representatives of 16 leading U.S. companies in the renewable energy sector interested in investment partnerships in Turkey, as well as government officials from U.S. financing agencies.
“It is a very special time in the relationship between the U.S. and Turkey,” he said. “Much credit is owed to our leaders, President Barack Obama, President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the vision and model they put forward of a strategic partnership between the two countries. Their vision was to ensure economic bilateral relations were as strong as the strategic and political relationships.”
ASO chairman Nurettin Özdebir said Turkey’s urgent interest lay in renewable energy given global climate changes and the country’s above-average energy consumption. “We are in a region that will be affected the most from climate changes due to global warming. Anatolia is faced with the risk of desertification,” said Özdebir. He said Turkey was using 30 percent more energy compared to country average in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
“In comparison, Japan uses one third of the energy we use,” he said. “As the need for energy rises, the price of energy will also rise, while having a negative effect on the climate.”
The companies whose representatives attended the meeting included General Electric, Abound Solar, WorldBusiness Capital Inc. and Dow Energy of the United States, as well as Nurol, Güriş, Yüksel Enerji, GAMA, OSTİM and Aksu Mining of Turkey.