Energy Supply a ‘National Security’ Issue

basbakanSecuring and diversifying energy supplies have become issues of national security, Turkey’s prime minister told a high-level summit in Istanbul on Monday. Binali Yildirim was speaking at the 23rd World Energy Congress which was also attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev. In a wide-ranging speech Yildirim said: “New actors are coming into the energy sector every day. The global energy community needs to address [this] transformation process.”

“Countries should make sure that energy prices are not too high. Let’s keep prices stable. This is a common expectation,” Yildirim added.

Turkey’s premier said the country’s economy was dynamic and growing: “Turkey’s demand for energy is almost three times more than the world average. Turkey comes second after China in the growth in accessibility to energy in the country.”

Yildirim added that Turkey aimed at ensuring its energy basket could meet increasing demand and offer flexibility:

“Turkey is dependent on imports for its primary energy consumption, at a high rate of 72 percent … the primary energy demand in Turkey is increasing tremendously and was three times the world average.”

The Turkish prime minister said the country would expand its solar and wind-energy capacities plus quickly complete projects such as the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline which will run through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey before connecting to Europe.

Yildirim also added that a third nuclear project was on Turkey’s agenda.

He described Monday’s Istanbul congress as “the Olympics” for energy talks: “It is going to offer important opportunities for the energy sector. Important bilateral energy agreements will be signed here.”

The 23rd World Energy Congress has brought together more than 10,000 participants from 85 countries, including four presidents plus 250 ministers and top decision-makers.

Anadolu Agency is the event’s global communication partner for 2016.