A post-Paris climate panel urged on the significant potential and reserve of Turkey for solar and wind power, organized by Greenpeace Mediterranean, WWF-Turkey and TEMA Foundation (Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion).
Panelists underlined that economy should be decarbonized and the transformation should kick off as soon as possible, within the panel entitled “Energy Policies after Paris”.
United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris in late 2015 has called on for a transformation in energy.
The decisions in Paris supports effort for wind power, said Turkey Wind Energy Association (TUREB) Chairman Mustafa Serdar Ataseven, underlining that Turkey's wind power potential is 25-30 percent higher than Europe.
However, Turkey's target for 2013 as 20 thousand MW contradicts with the country's target for 2030 within the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), which was 16 thousand megawatt (MW), he urged.
Still, Turkey's wind power has developed and 956 MW wind power has been commissioned, he said. Ataseven called on for an efficient planning of government policies and strategies, as well as the necessity for investments including transformer stations and transmission lies.
Germany has installed a wind plant with 6 thousand MW capacity only in 2015, while Turkey has merely achieved to install 4 thousand 800 MW, after series of “brawls”, he added.
“Managing a system founded on fossil fuels is a challenge”
Nilgün Açıkalın from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources praised “co-producing policies” as someone “from the state”, while explaining the state's efforts to avoid “aggressive targets”.
According to Açıkalın, as a developing country, Turkey will have different targets, strategy and policies, comparing to European countries. “We have founded a system based on fossil fuels; therefore, managing the system is harder. We are not able to ask for support if there is an interruption against the system” she said, underlining the security of supply and durability of electricity.
According to Açıkalın, Turkey's share within these established energy sources reached 40 percent, after the Renewable Energy Law acted in 2005. Meanwhile, she praised Turkey's share of natural gas, which approaches 46 percent, comparing to other sources such as coal.
“Renewable energy produced 400 thousand jobs”
Germany-based Agora Energiewende Deputy Executive Director Markus Steigenberger urged that COP21 has given the message that “we should do everything quicker”.
Germany has been resuming its transformation of the energy system from fossil, nuclear sources to reneweble sources, with a renewable energy target of 80-95 percent, he said.
Steigenberger underlined that Germany had two main reasons for transformation: Climate change attracting a clear awareness by Germany and economic interest.
“Germany understood there's a huge new opportunity. German companies created 400 thousand new jobs in the renewable energy sector. It creates a new industry” he explained.
Having underlined Germany has been a positive example by making efforts to phase out coal, lignite and nuclear, Markus Steigenberger called on civil society and business world to “use the momentum.”
International Solar Energy Society (ISES) Turkey Chairman Kemal Bayraktar said they have been aware of the solar energy potential of Turkey since the beginning, adding that the cost of solar has been decreasing.
Turkey's installed power is 249 MW, while the world's capacity is 228 thousand, he said. Thus, Turkey with solar potential of 500 thousand is “at the zero point” comparing to the world, regarding electricity production from solar power, he added.
“We should remake the game”
According to Bayraktar, while the “conditions” of Turkey and and the region transform, “the game should be remade”.
“Renewable energy offers opportunities for reconstructing the region. These energies can work together well, as we live together well, I project. I cannot see an alternative to the development of renewable energy, with respect to the United Nation's sustainable development goals” Bayraktar said.
Meanwhile, Açıkalın from the Energy Ministry vowed that Turkey will be in New York, when countries gather to sign the COP21, responding to a reporter's question.