Renewables Priority for Turkey

RENEWABLE energy is a priority in terms of both legislation and culture, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said at the 2nd National Energy Efficiency Forum, or NEEF, on Thursday.

In light of recent renewable energy legislation, Yildiz confirmed that Turkey’s green energy ambitions are a top priority, but need further legislative efforts as well as a change in the culture of the energy sector before they could be realized.

“Regulation and legislation is important, but not enough, since it’s also a culture that must change,” he said.

“Actors of energy change are found at every level of society, we can’t all sit individually and watch other people do it, while not taking responsibility,” he said.

NEEF, taking place at Istanbul’s WOW conference center across Jan. 13 and 14, comes just one month after a December, 2010 renewable energy law guaranteeing lower prices for renewable energy projects.

The legislation, which was largely expected to boost growth, employment and green energy projects in Turkey, was heavily criticised by many environmentalists who see Turkey’s renewable energy potential far exceeding efforts put forward in governmental circles.

During his speech, Yildiz emphasized citizens’ individual responsibility in changing energy consumption patterns. “We have to change our line and that’s entirely related to how we consume energy on a daily basis,” he said.

The current government is heavily prioritising the energy agenda as a result of global climate change and Turkey’s increasingly vulnerable energy dependency, he said. “Prime Minister Erdoğan has taken energy saving and its many concerns under his umbrella and prioritized its importance.”

NEEF would have a strong impact on the upcoming ministry’s energy strategy plan, which is expected to include more renewable projects, he said. “This conference should be considered the final meeting before the strategy plan, which the ministry will be able to sign.”

Regarding financial investments in the energy sector, the ministry’s agenda appears to favour heavier involvement from the private sector in renewables, however its critics have noted that the December legislation did not subsidise or lower renewable energy prices sufficiently for the sector to be able to expect guaranteed investment growth.

Nuket Yetis, president of the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, or TÜBİTAK, praised the ministry’s plans to focus on technological investment and scientific development.

“I have to thank our government for supporting these efforts and I am certain that five years from now we will see much larger steps having been accomplished,” she said.

Picture from

Saturday 15th January 2011

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