Turkey: seeking a sustainable future with renewables

Beyza Duru­soy, par­tic­i­pant of the COBENEFITS Online Train­ing, Turkey

In this part of our series Co-ben­e­fits Sto­ries, Beyza Duru­soy explains how renew­ables can boost a sus­tain­able future in Turkey. 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.

“As a Ph.D. fel­low who works in solar ener­gy research and seeks a sus­tain­able future, I des­per­ate­ly acknowl­edged that the only way to con­vince deci­sion mak­ers would be through eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits. In devel­op­ing coun­tries, like Turkey, tak­ing a step in renew­ables is sig­nif­i­cant. Instal­la­tions of renew­able plants will not only result in eco­nom­ic growth but also cre­ate employ­ment. As of August 2020, the unem­ploy­ment rate is 14.9%, and that excludes peo­ple who work in unre­lat­ed fields rather than their majors. Con­sid­er­ing Turkey’s grow­ing pop­u­la­tion, this rate (and the ener­gy demand) will grow even fur­ther unless we take a step in renew­ables’ pro­duc­tion process. Accord­ing to pro­gres­sive sce­nar­ios for addi­tion­al capac­i­ty instal­la­tions, labour demand will increase to 100,000 peo­ple. Thus, new indus­tri­al devel­op­ment and trade oppor­tu­ni­ties with renew­able ener­gy are most like­ly to cre­ate job oppor­tu­ni­ties and future skills. More­over, invest­ing in renew­able ener­gy research and pro­duc­tion will reduce the imports of con­ven­tion­al fuels and com­po­nents of renew­able plants (e.g., the annu­al imports for PV invert­er is approx­i­mate­ly $80 mil­lion). I believe that sus­tain­able eco­nom­ic growth can only be achieved by ener­gy inde­pen­dence, and to make that hap­pen, we need to rely on renewables.”

Out­door test plat­form of the GUNAM — Cen­ter for Solar Ener­gy Research and Appli­ca­tions, Mid­dle East Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty, Ankara, Turkey

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.