IEA encourages Turkey to further reform its energy sector and move towards a low-carbon economy

(Ankara) — 23 July 2010

Turkey will likely see the fastest medium to long-term growth in energy demand among the IEA member countries,” said Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), today in Ankara. Presenting the new study Energy Policies of IEA Countries – Turkey 2009 Review, he noted that although ensuring sufficient energy supply to a growing economy remains the government’s main energy policy concern, “Turkey has also progressed significantly in all other areas of energy policy over the past few years.”

Turkey needs large investments in energy infrastructure, especially in electricity and natural gas, to be able to supply affordable energy to its people and to sustain rapid economic growth. To attract that investment, the country needs to continue reforming its energy market. “Power sector reform is well under way, but in the natural gas sector reform has been slower and needs to be accelerated,” Mr. Tanaka said.

Successful energy diplomacy to improve security of supply, but challenges remain

Turkey imports practically all the oil and gas it uses and these imports may almost double over the next decade. A key part of Turkey’s policy is energy diplomacy with the supplier countries in the region, which together hold more than 70% of the proven oil and gas reserves of the world. “Turkey’s successful energy diplomacy benefits both the country itself and the wider international community,” Mr. Tanaka stated. “The IEA acknowledges the role Turkey has played in improving global energy security,” he added.

In addition to securing oil and gas from diversified sources, the country should nevertheless also focus on stronger measures at home. In particular, the IEA encourages Turkey to develop a comprehensive long-term plan to increase emergency oil reserves and natural gas storage capacity. Turkey should also improve its institutional capacity, possibly by swiftly establishing a stockholding agency to further enhance compliance with the IEA oil stockholding obligation. IEA member countries are required to hold oil stocks equivalent to at least 90 days of net oil imports.

Large potential for improving energy efficiency and limiting CO2 emissions

“On a global scale, we need a transition to a low-carbon economy, a revolution in how we produce and consume energy,” Mr. Tanaka stressed. “Over the long term, we have to dramatically improve energy efficiency both in the supply and demand side. We must also decarbonise power generation and transport”, he went on and added “Turkey’s plans to increase the use of renewable energy sources and to build nuclear power are clear steps in the right direction.”

Energy Policies of IEA Countries – Turkey 2009 Review underlines the importance of improving energy efficiency in responding to Turkey’s energy policy challenges. Whilst there is great potential in all sectors, in a country where private cars are rapidly becoming more common and where significant new construction is foreseen, transport and buildings merit particular long-term attention from decision makers.

Energy-related CO2 emissions in Turkey have more than doubled since 1990 and are likely to continue to increase rapidly over the medium and long term, in parallel with energy demand. “The IEA urges Turkey to intensify efforts to further develop its approach concerning its post-2012 regime to combat climate change, and to consider setting a quantitative overall target for limiting emissions,“ said Mr. Tanaka.

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