Turkey’s Energy Minister has just wrapped-up a four-day visit to China.
Topping the agenda is a way to quench Turkey’s thirst for energy. CCTV America’s Natalie Carney reports from Istanbul.
Turkey turns East to meet power shortfallTurkey's Energy Minister has just wrapped-up a four-day visit to China. Topping the agenda is a way to quench Turkey's thirst for energy. CCTV America's Natalie Carney reports from Istanbul.
Turkey’s energy demands continue to increase annually and with that, so does its dependence on other countries to meet it.
The country now imports roughly 74 percent of its oil and gas at a cost of about $37 billion last year.
That’s $17 billion less than 2014, due only to globally lower oil prices. Most of this energy comes from Russia, Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan.
However with security problems across Iraq and a diplomatic row between Ankara and Moscow, Turkey sees China playing an important role in restructuring its power sector.
Turkey’s high dependency on imported energy has it looking at all potential alternatives, from renewable energy to mining and thermal energy. The country has also begun building its first nuclear energy plant, which will meet roughly 16 percent of Turkey’s energy demands.
Some Chinese companies are already active in Turkey, such as Sunergy, which produces solar panels in Istanbul and Harbin Electric’s coal-based power plant in northwestern Turkey, but they are relatively small in scale.
Ankara is looking for more. Ankara aims to meet 30 percent of its electricity needs with renewable energy by 2023.
But while the country is rich in geothermal, hydro, wind and solar energy potential and it doesn’t yet have the infrastructure to tap it.
Turkey also sees itself becoming an energy transport hub between Euro Asia and the West.
And all this falls in line with China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ project, aimed at connecting countries along the ancient Silk Road.
Turkey’s biggest hurdles stem from security concerns and reassuring the world, it is a safe place to invest.