Green Deal is the new EU language: Energy summit


The Green Deal is a translation of European Union (EU) policies for the international arena, according to Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey. “Turkey can duplicate that path if it sets targets such as emission reduction or carbon neutrality,” he told attendees of the Green Deal From an Energy Perspective webinar hosted by daily DUNYA on May 26.  

The Ambassador emphasized that Turkey will have the opportunity to capitalize on the deal this summer, after the EU Commission completes its recommendations and begins procedures and negotiations with third parties, with a focus on sectors that have high energy input.

Energy efficiency is the most important feature for reducing emissions and investments should be made in research to that end, he said. “Research will pave the way for energy efficiency while market mechanisms will form the right environment,” he added.

The EU and Turkey should also develop common areas and work together, the Ambassador added. He noted EU Commission President Ursula von derLeyen’s intention to establish a high-level dialogue on climate change during her visit to Turkey. “If this dialogue happens prior to the Edinburgh Summit, we can talk about our common approaches,” he said.

Paris Agreement is a must

Turkey should sign the Paris Agreement as soon as possible in order to be officially registered in transformation processes, according to Prof. Dr. Guven Sak, Director of the Area Studies Program of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV).

Sak pointed out that the framework of the Paris Agreement gives Turkey a template for developing its economy, from transportation to finance. “This is a great opportunity for Turkey,” he said. “It’ll have an economic program until 2050 for the first time, and be able to focus on changes in technology.” Turkey needs a program framework to reduce the CDS premium and ensure stability for financing costs during the shift to these technologies, he added.

Turkey should prepare a declaration of intent for carbon emission reduction based on an economic program where the budget will be determined within the scope of the Paris Agreement, Sak said.

He also stressed that an interface will be required in order for SMEs’ to adapt to green transformation. “Chambers should be supported and companies can transform with their help. Municipalities will play an important role in this process,” said Sak, emphasizing that Turkey will require smart municipalities in the coming period.

For its part, Turkey has strong energy legislation but it needs a major investment plan, said Prof. Dr. Filiz Karaosmanoglu, lecturer at Istanbul Technical University and president of the Sustainable Production and Consumption Association (SUT-D). “The Green Deal is possible only with green financing, R&D and innovation. The EU has an investment plan for this. We also need such a major fund,” she said, underlining the necessity of the Climate Law.

Institutions should start with sustainability and carbon management and they should head toward carbon footprint reduction, as the EU can demand a green passport for Turkish goods, according to the professor. “New investments should be made in green products to be prioritized in exports to the EU. Thus, our export power will increase,” she noted.

Digitalization is the toolkit

Distributed energy, increased electrification and energy generation from renewables are the key factors driving decarbonization, according to Elif Dusmez Tek, Turkey Energy and Natural Resources Sector Leader for Deloitte. “We need digitalization so that these forces can be integrated,” said Tek. “Turkey will face the need to adapt to climate change in terms of investment financing whether it signs the Paris Agreement or not,” Tek said.

The renewable energy supply agreements are critical, she added, because producers want to sell their energy in the free market environment as an alternative to renewable energy incentives. “These agreements will enable finance. We should implement cost-based pricing in all value chains of the energy sector so that energy transformation is supported, and the market will support this development,” she noted.

Carbon footprint to be certified

Mehmet Dogan, General Manager of GazDay, stressed the importance of a national policy that the manufacturing industry will be be required to follow. Turkey should cut coal consumption immediately, he said, noting that energy-intensive sectors will be most affected by the Green Deal. “Emissions will be reduced by 40% when electricity generation from coal is ended. It’ll take 10 years to achieve this if it is started today,” he added.

Turkey should prepare a roadmap immediately as it will benefit, especially from energy efficiency and transformation of some energy resources, according to Yasar Arslan, President of the Natural Gas Distribution Companies Association of Turkey (GAZBIR). “In fact, natural gas has become widespread in all 81 provinces of Turkey. Natural gas in every city means a 50% reduction of residential coal and other fuel consumption,” said Arslan.

‘Green energy’ explained in figures

>> 85% of Turkey’s CO2 emissions are generated by the energy (72%) and manufacturing (13%) sectors, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.

>> The Green Deal will affect the cement, automotive, machinery, iron-steel and textile sectors most, according to a TUSIAD report. These sectors will be subject to a cost of EUR 1.8bn per year due to the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. And the cost will only increase.

>> The total installed power exceeded 50% and electricity generation surpassed 40% per year with the Renewable Energy Support Mechanism (YEKDEM) and Renewable Energy Resource Area (YEKA).

>> Turkey’s transition to a hydrogen energy system will be completed in 2074.

>> Turkey consumes 50-55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, according to Mehmet Dogan.

>> Over 50% of districts consume natural gas across Turkey. As a result, 35 million tonnes of carbon has been reduced in houses, according to Yasar Arslan.

>> 20% hydrogen can be used in Turkey’s natural gas pipelines, according to Arslan.

>> The natural gas consumption level in Turkey is projected to be kept permanently at 50 billion cubic meters, according to Arslan.

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