Turkey hosts major energy conference

The 20th International Energy and Environment Fair and Conference kicked off at the Istanbul Expo Center on Thursday

The 20th International Energy and Environment Fair and Conference kicked off at the Istanbul Expo Center on Thursday

ISTANBUL - The 20th International Energy and Environment Fair and Conference, whose main media sponsor is Anadolu Agency, kicked off at the Istanbul Expo Center on Thursday.

During an opening speech Turkey's energy minister Taner Yildiz said the results of March 30 local elections had a positive effect on the privatization projects of power plants. 

He said: "Following the elections, the private sector decided to continue to make proposals for purchasing the plants as they saw the continuation of stable political atmosphere in Turkey."

Kemerkoy and Yenikoy thermal power plants located in Turkey's south-western province of Mugla were privatized for US$2.6 billion last week. 

Stating that Turkey did not change its energy policy due to Ukraine crisis, Yildiz emphasized that the government's last ten years of energy policy predictions, including raising the share of renewables and building nuclear plants, were well-timed. 

Yildiz said the government paid utmost attention to the protection of the environment while developing energy investments. “Energy saving is the most important resource of Turkey and energy efficiency should be made sense from every part of the society," he added.

Turkish investors are welcome to have shares, up to 20 percent, in planned Turkish nuclear power plants, the minister said.

- Energy, environment and regulation

Erol Kaya, head of the Environment Committee in the Turkish parliament also delivered a speech saying: “Yes, development and energy are very important issues but so the environment.”

He added, “You cannot save environment just with law and legislation; the environment should have a place in people’s minds, conscious and conduct.”

Touching on a possibility of a drought this summer in Turkey as a result of the lack of rain during winter and spring, Kaya said that Turkey could, most probably, see a drought as water levels are alarmingly low in dams.

Energy commissioner of the Turkish National Assembly Halil Mazicioglu said in the past three years, while the world was undergoing a heavy economic crisis, Turkey's energy production had increased in accordance with the growth in its economy. 

"Our government devotes high importance to energy supply security," said Mazicioglu, added that local and renewable sources, as well as nuclear energy, are the most important sources for Turkish energy policy. 

Mustafa Yilmaz, the head of Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA), said: "In the next months Turkey’s energy authority will play more active role in the sector."

Yilmaz said that they would discuss the problems in the sector and hold meetings with companies which EMRA regulated.

This current ICCI conference will host 270 international speakers in 33 sessions with more than 10.000 visitors, and will run until Saturday.

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