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Technological Think Tank Center STM Thinktech Now Focuses on Energy Security

Turkey’s first technology-oriented think-tank center STM Thinktech held its fourth panel under the title of “Energy Security: Opportunities and Threats”. The issue of energy was discussed during the panel addressing aspects such as supply security, physical security and cyber security on a national and an international level.

Issue 93 - July 2019

Bringing together many industry players, the fourth STM ThinkTech panel took place in Ankara on July 4th under the title of “Energy Security: Opportunities and Threats”.

Participants of the energy panel where the energy issue was discussed on a  national and international level included Prof. İsmail DEMİR, President, Presidency of Defence Industries, Alparslan BAYRAKTAR, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Prof. Gülnur AYBET, Senior Advisor to the President of Republic of Turkey, Fatih BİROL, Executive Direc and  International Energy Agency and Prof. Oktay TANRISEVER, Faculty Member, METU Department of International Relations. Prior to the start of the panel, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency Fatih BİROL made a presentation about studies being carried out by various countries, the reflections of energy security on external security and potential prospects.

Prof. İKİNCİ: “Protecting the energy infrastructure is of critical importance”

In his opening speech, STM General Manager Murat İKİNCİ said, “As STM ThinkTech, we have been making efforts to develop regional and global security strategies by turning our 30 years of know-how and experience into technology-based forecasts. The investments we make in the field of technology are important for strengthening our defence industry with domestic and national products. In terms of national security, critical infrastructures regarding energy are amongst strategic systems that require   protection and preventative measures must be taken against possible threats. Threats that the systems connected to information networks encounter cause data loss and pose serious risks from the loss of data. Within this context, we believe that an adoption of an integrated approach to ensure energy security is of critical importance. With the panel we organize today, we aim to contribute to the determination of future strategies and generation of solutions together by addressing energy security with different aspects.”

Noting that today there are three major revolutions in the energy sector and the role of consumers in the energy field has changed, the keynote speaker Fatih BİROL, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency said: “Asian countries are becoming the center of energy production and consumption. When we look at the second revolution, we see that the U.S., which was an importer ten years ago, is now the world’s largest producer and exporter of shale gas, oil and gas. The third revolution is about renewable energy. Today, costs in wind and solar power generation have fallen dramatically. Solar and wind energy has come to the forefront and has made them the third revolution in terms of decrease in energy production costs.”

BİROL pointed out that renewable energy is growing rapidly all over the world and added: “The renewable energy revolution started in Europe, but the current leader is China. There are significant subsidies. The more the use of renewable energy increased through these subsidies, the more the costs decreased accordingly. Currently, many renewable energy sources, especially in wind and solar energy, have reached a point that can compete with other sources without the need for government subsidies. Turkey has also taken important steps in renewable energy. Turkey has ranked third in Europe, after Germany and the U.K. within the last 5 years in installed power increase in renewable energy. We are ahead of Spain, France and others which have shown great interest in this matter since the very beginning”.

Underlining the importance of energy efficiency, BİROL said: “In order to provide a more sustainable energy system in terms of environment and energy security, we think that the world’s energy efficiency should be developed and improved by 3 percent every year, however when we look at the figures, unfortunately, the improvement in energy efficiency in the world is far below expectations”. 

Following the keynote speech, the panel session started with the participation of panelists.

Prof. DEMİR: “We need to increase our energy-related activities”

President of Defence Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR underlined limited energy sources, the instability that has occurred in the regions where these sources exist and the energy problem that emerges due to the increasing demand for energy, he also emphasized energy security which is important both nationally and globally. DEMİR: “Acting with the awareness of the responsibilities of its geopolitical position, Turkey is amongst the key actors in the region in terms of energy. Today, we need to increase our activities related to energy security and take measures against the risks that may threaten energy flow. In line with 2023 targets, our country has adopted a strategy including strengthening energy supply security, using domestic and renewable resources and establishing predictable market conditions and “””””also, we will take crucial steps to protect infrastructure and data security. STM’s efforts in this area and ThinkTech’s activities also contribute to the security of our country”. 

Emphasizing Turkey’s commitment in ensuring energy security, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan BAYRAKTAR said: “Our priority and main objective is to provide energy to consumers in a sufficient, quality, continuous, low-cost and environmentally compatible manner. The policies we develop to this end are the outcome of a long-term, holistic and a comprehensive perspective. Investments continue to bring domestic and renewable resources to our economy at the maximum level, to declare mobilization for energy efficiency, oil and gas exploration in land and sea, development of domestic manufacturing in the energy sector also with R&D support. Besides, Turkey sincerely believes it has to handle the issue of energy with aspects which contribute to regional development and prosperity as well as produce solutions to conflicts”. 

The first STM ThinkTech panel was organized in 2017 under the title of “The PrioritizedDefence Systems and Technologies of the Future Operating Environment” and then in 2018 “New Soldiers of a Digitalizing World: Unmanned and Smart Systems” and “A New Player in the Fight against Terrorism: Artificial Intelligence”