Nasli and Richard’s discussion takes place in the shadow of these issues. Turkey’s need to divest from imported fossil fuels – over 90% of the country’s oil and gas comes from abroad – has become increasingly important as the country has suffered, like many others, from high global commodity prices.
They also touch on the country’s flagship energy project, the Akkuyu nuclear plant (which will be the country’s first) designed with Russian help, which is scheduled to come online in 2023. The plant is the only one of three projects which looks certain to come online in the near future.
Investment in renewable energy in the country has also increased in recent years, and there’s a potential for a ‘double dip’ in economic terms if the country can develop the manufacturing industries for wind turbines and solar panels. Feed-in tariffs for wind, solar and geothermal energy have seen renewable capacity in the country double in the past five years.
These will be important developments if the country is able to wean itself off carbon intensive lignite plants which still account for a huge share of the country’s energy mix. The current difficulty of finding finance for new coal power stations could be a positive in this context however.