In an article in the Italian daily, Milano Finanza, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak elaborated on the development of Turkey's energy sector while explaining future projects as well as the country's national energy and mining strategies. He particularly emphasized that Turkey will continue its exploration and drilling operations in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Minister Albayrak said the Turkish energy sector was in a grand transition that included fundamental changes to the market structure and business model through decentralization and digitization. He explained that Turkey's domestic energy sector is characterized by rapid demand growth and import dependency.

To decrease import dependency and cater to the growing needs of the market, the Turkish government has developed a national energy and mining strategy based on three main pillars, localization, security of supply and predictability of market conditions with particular importance attached to regional infrastructural projects for diversification as a guiding element.

"As for Turkey's energy outlook, as a champion of the growth in the demand for electricity per capita among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members, we managed to mobilize public and private investments in infrastructure to meet growing internal demand. As a result, over the past 15 years Turkey's installed capacity has almost tripled, reaching 81,000 megawatts (MW), while maintaining an average economic growth of 5 percent over the last seven years," the minister wrote.

As part of Turkey's goal to increase the share of national and renewable energy sources for electricity production to 66 percent by 2023, "Ankara has set a target of reaching an installed capacity of 10 thousand MW, for wind and solar energy within a decade. Consequently, as a first major step towards these objectives, tenders were organized in March and August 2017 for projects of 1,000 megawatts for photovoltaic, wind energy and for the production of related equipment, which recorded a great investor interest and low bidding prices," Albayrak explained. Turkey, he informed, plans to apply a similar model for clean coal technologies in the near future, in order to use the country's abundant coal reserves.

Turkey's national energy strategy also encompasses nuclear power plants. In order to achieve its goal in nuclear, Turkey has partnered up with countries that have extensive experience in the sector and plans to operational first reactor by 2023 in Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in southern province of Mersin.

"Another pillar of our strategy is to ensure security of supply and diversification of our natural gas consumption. The gas storage capacity in Turkey has increased to 4 billion cubic meters (bcm) with the introduction of the Lake Tuz underground storage facility," the article read. By 2023, the country aims to increase the storage capacity to 11 billion cubic meters, the minister said. The natural gas storage and regasification has also been supported by floating LNG storage and regasification units. While first one became operational in 2016 in İzmir, Aliağa, the second one will be deployed in Hatay's Dörtyol district in southern Turkey.

"We have always tried to keep the technical and regulatory alignment with the European Union and to increase our integration with the EU energy markets by building more interconnections and promoting projects for regional diversification and supply security such as the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project (TANAP) and the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) crude oil pipeline," Albayrak explained the role of Turkish energy sector in the region.

The BTC has been successfully implemented and has been in operation for more than a decade. As for the Tanap project, which will bring Azeri gas to Turkey and to European markets, 80 percent of its construction was completed ahead of schedule. In this regard, once completed, projects such as TANAP, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), TurkStream and other potential future initiatives will promote the security of supplies in many European countries, the energy minister emphasized.

"Turkey is trying to participate directly in the increase in investments in the activities carried out upstream. We began to focus on oil and gas exploration studies in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Extensive studies are already under way to conduct seismic survey in the Mediterranean. We intend to do the same for the Black Sea region in the next period. These operations will follow further exploration and drilling activities, which will reveal the potential of both seas and contribute to security of supply in Turkey and in our region.

Turkey's first drilling ship, the Deepsea Metro II, passed the straits of Gallipoli on Friday, the Turkish Petroleum Company said. The state-run firm said it was to be used for drilling in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

"Turkey will continue to support regional and international infrastructure projects as long as they contribute to regional peace and stability, multilateral wellbeing and security of supply," Minister Albayrak said with particular emphasis on the country's principle based on the fair share of energy resources through cooperation between regional partners. As a result, Turkey used the Share for Peace motto at the 23rd World Energy Congress organize by the ministry under the auspices of the Presidency in Istanbul in October 2016.The country also promoted TurKEY for Energy motto for the 22nd World Oil Congress hosted by Turkey in Istanbul in July 2017. These mottoes and the organization of these events, Albayrak said, reveal that Turkey is the key to international energy diplomacy and regional infrastructure projects thanks to its peaceful and cooperative approach to multilateral projects.

Source: Daily Sabah

Winter storm Eleanor swept across Europe on Wednesday, bringing death, damage and disruption, snarling transport networks and cutting power to tens of thousands of people. Two people died on Spain's northern Basque coast, the couple swept away by a huge wave, officials said, and another person had to be rescued after attempting to save them.

In France, a 21-year-old skier was killed by a falling tree at Morillon in the Alps where dangerous conditions forced the closure of several resorts. More than a dozen others were injured by the storm across France, four seriously, civil defense spokesman Michael Bernier told AFP as the country was lashed by what meteorologists termed the strongest winds in eight years.

On the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, where gusts of up to 140 kilometers per hour (85 miles per hour) were recorded, winds fanned the flames of forest and scrub fires started by downed power lines, leaving three people injured.

At Lenk in central Switzerland, eight people were hurt when a violent gust of wind overturned a railway carriage while one person was injured by a falling tree in the southern Dutch village of Heesch. Heavy winds forced authorities to close the airports in Strasbourg and Basel-Mulhouse on France's border with Germany and Switzerland before they were reopened shortly after midday.

At Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, most departures were delayed Wednesday morning and a handful of flights had to be rerouted before the winds eased. The weather wreaked havoc with train services and motorway access in several French regions, the result of fallen trees, electrical lines and other debris.

About 225,000 homes across France were without electricity, while "particularly intense" flooding was expected on the Atlantic coasts. The Eiffel Tower had to turn away tourists in the morning because of the gusts before reopening later.

Hail, thunder and lightning

Eleanor barreled into continental Europe after whipping across England and Ireland, with the Thames Barrier, one of the largest movable flood barriers in the world, closed as a precautionary measure to protect London from swelling tides.

"We have seen some heavy showers push through across the south of the UK along with hail, loud thunder and lightning," said meteorologist Becky Mitchell. Gusts of 160 kph were recorded at Great Dun Fell in Westmorland, northwest England, while overturned vehicles and trees caused closures of major motorways.

In Ireland, power supply company ESB said electricity had been restored to 123,000 customers, while 27,000 remained without power. Streets around the docks in Galway on the west coast were flooded after high tides breached the sea defenses, prompting the deployment of about two dozen troops to support flood defense efforts.

Belgium and parts of Spain were also put on "orange" alert, the third of four warning levels, with officials urging people to exercise caution when venturing out.

In the Netherlands, more than 250 flights were cancelled at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, a key European hub, as weather alerts were issued for several regions. Dutch authorities for the first time closed all of the five storm surge barriers on the country's North Sea coast, the transport ministry said.

Flights were also disrupted at Frankfurt's airport in Germany, where the storm has been baptized Burgling, and at Zurich airport, as Swiss officials urged hikers to avoid forest walks. RTS television reported that about 14,000 homes were without power in several Swiss cantons.

Most ski resorts in the Swiss and northern French Alps, where gusts reached 250 kph at Les Arcs resort. "You're better off staying in front of the fire today," said David Penson, a ski official in Savoy.
Eleanor is the fourth major storm to hit Europe since December.

Source: Times LIVE

A political agreement on new rules for improving the energy performance of buildings was reached today between negotiators from the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. The Commission's proposal forms part of the implementation of the Juncker Commission priorities – in particular "a resilient Energy Union and a forward-looking climate change policy". Today's agreement signals the closure of the first of 8 legislative proposals part of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package brought forward by the European Commission on 30 November 2016. It also shows that the work towards the completion of the Energy Union is on the way and that the work initiated by the Juncker Commission is being delivered.

The improvements agreed include measures to strengthen the energy performance of new buildings, to accelerate the rate of building renovation towards more energy efficient systems and tapping into the huge potential for efficiency gains in the building sector, the largest single energy consumer in Europe.

Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: "The fight against climate change starts 'at home', given that over a third of EU's emissions is produced by buildings. By renovating and making them smart, we are catching several birds with one stone – the energy bills, people's health, and the environment. And as technology has blurred the distinction between sectors, we are also establishing a link between buildings and e-mobility infrastructure, and helping stabilize the electricity grid. Let's stay on high gear." 

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete added: "As the first agreement on a proposal of the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package, this is a step in the right direction. But I would have preferred to see a more ambitious commitment to e-vehicles charging points for non-residential buildings. This would have been more consistent with our commitments under the Paris Agreement and the European clean mobility strategy. But the new buildings directive will help create local jobs, save consumers money and improve our quality of life. I now call on the European Parliament and the Council to show ambition and complete the rest of the proposals of the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package."

Main achievements:

  • Creates a clear path towards a low and zero emission building stock in the EU by 2050 underpinned by national roadmaps to decarbonise buildings.
  • Encourages the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and smart technologies to ensure buildings operate efficiently for example by introducing automation and control systems.
  • Supports the roll-out of the infrastructure for e-mobility in all buildings (although to a lesser extent than in the Commission's proposal).
  • Introduces a "smartness indicator" which will measure the buildings' capacity to use new technologies and electronic systems to optimise its operation and interact with the grid.
  • Integrates long term building renovation strategies.
  • Mobilises public and private financing and investment.
  • Helps combatting energy poverty and reducing the household energy bill by renovating older buildings.

Next steps

Following this political agreement, the text of the Directive will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once endorsed by both co-legislators in the coming months, the updated Energy Performance of Buildings Directive will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and will enter into force 20 days after publication. Member States will have to transpose the new elements of the Directive into national law after 18 months.

Source: European Commission

A new study based on satellite observations finds that temperatures could rise nearly 5 °C by the end of the century.

The paper found that global temperatures could rise nearly 5 °C by the end of the century under the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s steepest prediction for greenhouse-gas concentrations. That’s 15 percent hotter than the previous estimate. The odds that temperatures will increase more than 4 degrees by 2100 in this so-called “business as usual” scenario increased from 62 percent to 93 percent, according to the new analysis.

Climate models are sophisticated software simulations that assess how the climate reacts to various influences. For this study, the scientists collected more than a decade’s worth of satellite observations concerning the amount of sunlight reflected back into space by things like clouds, snow, and ice; how much infrared radiation is escaping from Earth; and the net balance between the amount of energy entering and leaving the atmosphere. Then the researchers compared that “top-of-atmosphere” data with the results of earlier climate models to determine which ones most accurately predicted what the satellites actually observed.

The simulations that turned out to most closely match real-world observations of how energy flows in and out of the climate system were the ones that predicted the most warming this century. In particular, the study found, the models projecting that clouds will allow in more radiation over time, possibly because of decreased coverage or reflectivity, “are the ones that simulate the recent past the best,” says Patrick Brown, a postdoctoral research scientist at the Carnegie Institution and lead author of the study. This cloud feedback phenomenon remains one of the greatest areas of uncertainty in climate modeling.

Various politicians, fossil-fuel interest groups, and commentators have seized on the uncertainty inherent in climate models as reasons to doubt the dangers of climate change, or to argue against strong policy and mitigation responses.

“This study undermines that logic,” Brown says. “There are problems with climate models, but the ones that are most accurate are the ones that produce the most warming in the future.”

In fact, the new paper is the latest in a growing series that project larger impacts than previously predicted or conclude that climate change is unfolding faster than once believed.

Source: MIT Technology Review


The 2016 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard

The 2016 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard examines the energy efficiency policies and performance of 23 of the world’s top energy-consuming countries. Together these nations represent 75% of all the energy consumed on the planet and in 2013 accounted for over 80% of the world’s gross domestic product. We used 35 metrics to evaluate each country’s national commitment to energy efficiency as well as its efficiency policies and performance in the buildings, industry, and transportation sectors.

Please click here to read the full report.