Questions about energy and its future in Turkey

  1. Do you think whether nuclear energy or renewable energy is a better alternative for heavy dependence on fossil fuels? Why? Discuss their advantages and disadvantages. Is there any other possibility to decrease our consumption of hydrocarbon resources?

Throughout the world, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy appears to be an inevitable accident, as a way for people to approach nature and countries try to achieve energy independence. Only during the last ten years has the proliferation of solar and wind farms convinced many audiences that such a transformation is possible. Despite the new global trend driving dependence on renewable energy sources to save the environment and preserve the planet and the entire human race, the solution may lie in the hands of another energy source capable of bringing prosperity and abundance despite its name being linked to wars and destruction. How can this equation be achieved?

Achieving this requires moving to an energy source that is safe for the environment, and efficient, energy like nuclear energy. In order for modern societies to reduce environmental damage, every country must move towards more reliable energy sources. Therefore, nuclear energy is one of the most important sources of energy, and it is the energy that is generated by controlling the fission or fusion reactions of an atom. Nuclear energy is more efficient than renewables and is safer and cleaner than burning fossil fuels.

Like any renewable alternative energy that has advantages and disadvantages, nuclear energy is characterized by the ease of availability of the materials used in it, which are radioactive uranium, and ease of transportation other than oil or coal, nuclear energy is a clean energy source because there are no chemicals or polluting the environment during use by humans, requires small-sized plants, has high efficiency because what is produced one ton of uranium equals millions of times the energy produced by coal or oil. It features long operating times. As for the disadvantages, the difficulty of getting rid of its nuclear waste, its great need for the availability of large quantities of water to operate its own plants, its great financial cost, and the safety of people for fear of radioactive leaks from their stations, Like what happened in Chernobyl 1986 (operational errors).

Nuclear energy is the best future for energy and it is the most successful energy and potential that will reduce our consumption of hydrocarbon resources significantly for that development and expansion of nuclear energy projects are the most appropriate option for a safer future for energy, and for a more stable environment.

  1. Discuss Turkey’s energy strategy with a geopolitical perspective. Consider the regions of the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean as a part of Ankara’s changing and persistent energy policy goals.

The scarcity of energy sources forced Turkey to develop an energy strategy that is to exploit the important political geographic location in securing energy sources and diversification of imports due to the increasing demand for energy and to play a more prominent role in the geopolitics of Eurasian and European energy to be a global energy center, and this comes within the framework of the European initiative Southern pipeline of Gas and Turkish-Russian Current Project. The construction of pipeline projects in the Caspian region, the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean have become more evident recently by Turkish leaders in order to highlight Turkey’s role as an emerging energy center in Eurasia.

As for the Black Sea, the unique geographical location between Europe and Asia makes Turkey enjoy the advantage of controlling the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. As 3% of global oil supplies mainly from Russia pass through. Now Turkey is planning to build a waterway similar to the Bosphorus in order to increase daily transit ships and increase income besides the current ongoing project with Russia (Turkish stream).

With regard to the Mediterranean region, the intensification of research and exploration for gas and oil is one of the most important energy strategies for Turkey, and Turkey aims to continue the search for natural gas and oil in the Mediterranean to change its structure, which depends heavily on abroad, Turkey also aims to be part of any An energy project in the Mediterranean, which is noticed in the Turkish-Libyan Agreement 2020, Turkey now will be part of the Israeli Energy Project to Europe due to that agreement.

Concerning the Caspian Sea strategy, it is obvious the success of the SGC project will bring plenty of advantages to Turkey as a transit country. Despite failed projects in this region like the East-West Energy pipeline project (Trans Caspian pipeline), there are still plans to build new pipelines or expand the existing ones to transport oil and natural gas to Europe from the Middle East, the Caspian Sea, and the Eastern Mediterranean region via the Turkish territories. One possible option is to connect Iran and Turkmenistan with the SGC project.

Turkey is defined as “a bridge of natural energy and an energy hub between energy sources in the Middle East and Caspian region and energy markets in the European Union” (European Commission, 2015). This encourages Turkey to expand energy projects such as more pipelines, drilling, and exploration.

· Compare and contrast the significance of Malacca Strait and Bosphorus as an energy chokepoint and in the maritime energy traffic.

The Bosphorus Strait is the only way that allows access to the Mediterranean Sea for Caspian and black see countries, but it has great importance for Russia because it is one of the largest energy sources in the world and is its only waterway for the Mediterranean and for its energy-exporting. In 2016, around 3% of the global oil supply went through it (IEA, 2016).

The Strait of Malacca is narrow, crowded, busy and difficult to for energy traffic as much as Bosphorus watercourse but it has greater importance; it is the second most remarkable Strait in the world, close location to high growth economies in East Asia (China and Indonesia), connecting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean which facilitate linking Persian Gulf suppliers (Qatar-Iran-Saudi) and the Asian markets. Malacca is the lifeline of China in terms of energy supply, especially with increasing economic growth. It is also a lifeline for allies of the United States of America. Nearly one-third of the 61% of total global petroleum goes through it[1].

[1] The Strait of Malacca, a key oil trade chokepoint, links the Indian and Pacific Oceans, TODAY IN ENERGY, AUGUST 11, 2017. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=32452 . Accessed on 14 June 2020.