In the first part of our new series Co-benefits Stories, Meltem Bayraktar from Turkey explains the upsides that come with less imported fossil fuels and how renewables can reduce air pollution in Turkish cities. For this series, we have asked energy professionals that have participated in our trainings for their thoughts and experiences on co-benefits of renewable energy in their country.
“Turkey imports almost 80% of its overall energy supply which mainly includes gas, oil and coal. Dependence on imported fossil fuel resources because of Turkey’s growing energy demand due to the rapid population and economic growth leaves Turkey’s economy vulnerable to fluctuating global energy prices and it contributes to the current account deficit a great deal. Therefore, local renewables have the potential to reduce reliance on energy imports and provide energy security for Turkey. Local production of renewable system equipment, implementation and maintenance of systems will drive up economic activity and create new jobs.
Air pollution is one of the most significant problems that cities in Turkey are facing, today. The air quality level in most of the Turkish cities is considered unsafe by the World Health Organization guidelines. Energy consumption by the industry and housing and increasing fuel demand for vehicles are among the greatest contributors. Renewable energy sources therefore can contribute to improve air quality and human health in Turkey, through emission-free and PM-free energy production.”
Based on insights of the COBENEFITS research group, the Renewables Academy (RENAC) currently conducts trainings in Turkey, Kenya, South Africa and Mexico. Participants learn about co-benefits of renewable energy in climate change mitigation, tools to quantify and communicate social and economic opportunities and policies and instruments to mobilise them.