Political parties in the opposition bloc known as Six Tables energy Our conversations with the authorities on the subject continue. This time our guest is Fatih Arslan, Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Policy Monitoring Board of the Future Party. He sees cost as the biggest problem in energy, and attributes this to the financial policies implemented.
What is Turkey’s most important problem in the field of energy?
At the moment, our biggest problem in energy is, of course, the cost of energy, which our people also suffer from. The biggest reason for this is the energy crisis in the world. Prices are rising. But there is a crisis unique to us. The main reason for this is the current monetary policy. Allowing high rates or not following any method to prevent this. Besides, we have other shortcomings as well.
What kind of shortcomings?
For example, our ability to fill our natural gas tanks is currently very limited. There is a planned and progressing process in Tuz Gölü, but the current level is insufficient for us. These have now become essential projects for us as increased consumption has greatly exceeded estimates. For example; If we had a capacity like Germany at the time of the pandemic, we could not only buy cheap LNG from the spot and continue our daily life, but also make a very serious storage and enter 2021 better. We could have used the amount we earned and saved there even in 2022.
You say that the lack of infrastructure is also an important problem, so…
Yes. Our infrastructure deficiencies are not limited to natural gas. Our storage possibilities for fuel are also very limited. Therefore, there is no one-day solution to the problems we experience in energy. But as I said at the beginning, one of the biggest reasons is the implemented monetary policy and our lack of infrastructure.
So how do we solve these things?
Obviously, there is no solution for these things from today to tomorrow. But we need to speed things up. First of all, we will implement a correct monetary policy. If (energy prices) increased 5 times in Europe, it increases 10 times in our country. First of all, we need to bring this expensiveness to the level of the countries we compare ourselves to and compete with. Therefore, first of all, we need to implement a correct monetary policy.
While it is said that it is going out of coal, there are news of returning to coal…
If we come to power, we will not follow a very pro-coal policy. Of course, we have the intention of modernizing the existing ones and gradually removing the ones that will not be modernized. We will try to replace the shortage that this may cause with renewable energy.
What about uninterrupted electricity supply?
We will attach great importance to energy storage. Energy storage will be one of our priorities as a party. Because energy storage will be one of the biggest breakthroughs towards energy independence in terms of Turkey’s energy supply security. Investments in electricity storage are currently continuing in our country. We will encourage people to invest more in this area. So that’s our point of view.
What is not done now, but if you come to power, what will you do?
They made a good decision about storage, it should be appreciated. Let’s say you want to generate energy, legislation the more storage capacity you will make, the more production it allows. But there is no clarity yet on how to implement it. We will attach great importance to this, namely electricity storage. We will go out to tenders for storage projects. We will encourage storage investments with purchase guarantees if necessary. This is true for fuel, also for natural gas. We must have an energy infrastructure to store energy when it is cheap.
How do you view energy technologies and domestic equipment production?
In the beginning, cells brought from abroad were laminated and turned into panels. Now our companies have come to the capacity to establish production facilities that can take this work from its source, namely ingot, and turn it into the final product. There are even founders. Therefore, the more we encourage them and expand the market, the technology and know-how of this business will become domestic. For example, our young people working in natural gas exploration in the Black Sea will create know-how in that field.
How compatible are your energy policies with Turkey’s Net Zero target?
The Paris Climate Agreement did not pass the Parliament for a very long time. Since they put us in the category of developed countries at some points, the Government was actually right in its position on this issue, but it could not stand the pressures any longer and this contract was passed. We are in a much better position than Europe in renewable energy. Therefore, we can easily reach the Net Zero target. The more we can benefit from renewable energy, the more comfortable we will make this transition. We also have a gradual exit plan from coal, I don’t think we will have a serious problem in this regard.
How does the Future Party view nuclear?
We obviously support nuclear. As you know, small modular reactors are very popular in the world now. If I remember correctly, the USA gave a license to a company in this regard as of the end of July.
We will try to spread nuclear, but there may not be large-scale projects like the ones in Sinop and Mersin. It can be in the styles we refer to as smaller, more modular. You know, on the other hand, nuclear energy is now considered green energy. This is how the European Union classifies it. That’s how they defined natural gas. Therefore, I think that nuclear has a clear path in this regard and that it should become widespread in Turkey as well. Frankly, we are looking forward to nuclear because of its capacity to produce clean energy as much as possible.
Energy identity certificate requirement will be applied in buildings.
Mehmet Fatih Arslan stated that they attach great importance to energy efficiency and said, “It was a must to submit an energy identity document during title deed transfers. But unfortunately they forgot that. We will make it mandatory when we arrive. Because when you can’t measure the energy, you don’t know what kind of precautions to take. I think it was the right decision. I think it’s up to us to implement it if we can.