Oil tankers in Istanbul
Oil tankers in Istanbul
Gila Benmayor

ISTANBUL - Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency, has offered some notable insights into the future of global energy markets. His presentation of the “World Energy Outlook 2012” report that focused on "energy efficiency" will undoubtedly be studied closely by the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TÜSÄ°AD).

But to better understand Turkey's particular situation, it is worth focusing on the recent presentation of Murat Mercan, the Deputy Minister of Energy, who outlined the country's energy vision for the future.

Here are the core points that stood out to me during the presentation:

-Turkey’s demand for energy will nearly double by 2030, rising from 53,000 to 100,000 megawatts.

-This growth will largely be pushed by demand from the private sector.

-For Turkey to be a part of the world’s largest 10 economies by 2023, the public energy authorities and private sector must work hand-in-hand.

-In the next 20 years, Turkey will be home to key new infrastructure, including pipelines, ports, shipping services; the country will boost its own dynamic petrol and natural gas sectors.

-Turkey’s lignite and bituminous coal reserves will play a major role in boosting the economy.

-By 2023, electricity production will be divided into four units. Some 30 percent will be produced from natural gas; 30 percent will come from coal; another 30 percent will come from renewable sources and 10 percent will be nuclear. Mercan highlighted that entering the “nuclear league” is a necessity, not a fantasy.

Global warming

While Mercan outlined Turkey’s energy vision, he reminded the audience that 1.3 billion people in the world live without electricity. As part of its energy goals, Turkey will help supply regions in undeveloped countries with strong energy channels and resources.

“We will support countries in Africa, such as Somalia and Nigeria, and help them lay foundations for more channels,” Mercan told me.

Still, a key factor in Turkey’s energy vision, which was not emphasized in Mercan’s presentation, was energy efficiency and global warming.

IEA chief Birol, raised the issue highlighting that with current policies in place, average global temperatures are set to increase by six degrees Celsius -- which could have catastrophic implications. “If as of 2017 there is not a start of a major wave of new and clean investments, the door to two degrees will be closed,” he said.

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Geopolitics

The New Iraq, Signs Of Hope Amid The Rubble And Reconstruction

How do you rebuild a country decimated by four decades of war and embargoes? Following the withdrawal of the U.S. military, Iraq faces many challenges, from oil revenues captured by the militias and endemic corruption to religious segregation. However, there are glimmers of hope for the country's future.

Street scene in Erbil, Iraq

Théophile Simon

BAGHDAD — With a vast office located at the top of a tower fiercely guarded by the army and a bell to call the staff, Khalid Hamza Abbas is obviously a powerful character, decked out in an impeccable suit. Abbas runs the Basra Oil Company (BOC), the national company responsible for the exploitation of the oil fields in the province of Basra, in the very south of Iraq, from which four million barrels of crude oil flow daily. It’s the equivalent of 4% of world demand and 65% of central government revenue concentrated in a region of only four million inhabitants.

As he explains the profit-sharing scheme between the world’s major oil companies and his public enterprise, the 50-year-old with thin glasses is suddenly stopped dead in his tracks by the ringing of his telephone. He tries a joke to mask his suddenly worried face: "I'm going to ask you to leave my office for a few moments. If I haven't called you back in 10 minutes, call the police."

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