Energy policies have been discussed at Izmir University of Economics (IUE). It has been reported at the “6th Energy Management and Policies Workshop”’, organized by IUE Department of Sustainable Energy, that Turkey has spent energy equivalent to 130 million tons of petroleum in 2016, and fossil fuels made up 86% of this. It has been pointed out in the workshop that Turkey needed to have a sustainable and predictable energy market structure.
In his opening speech, İbrahim Akbal, Chairman of Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) Natural Gas Assembly, stated that natural gas market should adopt free market model. Akbal said, “We can achieve competitive advantage by increasing the share of private sector, liberalizing imports, and most importantly, taking the cost of natural gas into consideration when pricing it. We produce the cheapest gas and electricity in Europe. In other words, there is an invisible support on gas and electricity. We, the consumers, benefit from this. However, we are also blocking the development of the market while doing it. We need to crack the doors open and accelerate the market. There is the process of separating the government agency, BOTAŞ. We hope it will be finalized”.
Akbal, who reported that the energy sector has entered a process of change and progress, and that some of the importing countries became the exporters, stated the following:
“USA has reached the exporter potential via its shale gas production. On the other hand, the natural gas exporter Egypt became an importer due to setbacks encountered in underground reserves. The energy demand shifts from west to east. Based on last year’s statistics, energy equivalent to 13 billion tons of petroleum has been consumed worldwide, and fossil fuels made up 86% of this. It’s been speculated that in 2035, with a 30% increase, that number will go up to 17 billion tons of petroleum. Consumption in Turkey, with is energy spent equivalent to 130 million tons of petroleum, is almost 1% of world consumption. Fossil fuels also made up 86% of this, just like the worldwide ratio.”
‘10% of GNP’
Akbal reported that private sector with a 62% share in electricity in Turkey has reached to 78 thousand megawatts, however, when it came to natural gas, that share could not go beyond 20%. Based on last year’s data, electricity market was around 55 - 60 billion TL, natural gas 48 - 50 billion TL, and petroleum and liquid fuel around 130 billion TL indicated, Akbal and he said that represented 10% of gross national product.
‘Sustainable and predictable energy market structure’
Akbal stated that the investor would find a stable, dependable, and trustable market. "Our biggest concern is not being able to achieve a sustainable and predictable energy market structure still. Thanks to Turkish Energy Market (EPİAŞ), we expect a market to be engineered for natural gas next year. Turkey, instead of acting as the bridge for natural gas pipelines, definitely needs to focus on becoming the center of energy, center of trade,” said Akbal.
‘Establishing reference prices’
Aziz Çamcı, Chairman of Board of Directors of Petroleum Platform Association (PETFORM), reported that Turkey would become a natural gas trade center which establishes reference prices in Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Europe regions. Çamcı said that quick actions needed to be taken when regulating the internal market.
‘Approaching energy in terms of social sciences’
Yaşar Arslan, President of Turkish Union of Natural Gas Distribution Companies (GAZBİR) pointed that Turkey needed to reach a growth of 6%, and energy surely would have a share in that growth. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Efe Biresselioğlu, Head of IUE Department of Sustainable Energy, stated that they analyzed energy in terms of social sciences, and they had been working on energy policies and economic modeling.