Energizing Women in Turkey

First of the "Energizing Women in Turkey" awards ceremony organized by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources was held with the participation of the First Lady Emine Erdogan. Many names from business, arts, academia and sports have joined. Emine Erdogan spoke at the ceremony, "politics, economy and bureaucracy will remain missing without women. A democracy struggle without women cannot succeed," she said.

She continued her words as: “Woman and man are like two wings of a bird. Just as a bird cannot fly with one wing, humanity also cannot proceed one-sided. At this point, Islam provides women with many rights in all areas including education, commerce, politics etc. In this respect, Turkey is pursuit of giving women the importance that they deserve. Especially in man-dominant sectors, presence of women is very crucial. You have achieved many successes in the areas that people say “women cannot do”. You have given energy to Turkey. I congratulate all of you.”

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said that they need women to achieve the goals set in frame of “National Energy and Mining Policy of Turkey”. Stating that the awards given to women during the ceremony will be a source of inspiration for many, he talked as: “We will build tomorrow’s strong Turkey together. We believe that as many other industries, our sector cannot make the desired progress without participation of women. As the ministry we will apply to positive discrimination towards women in order to increase the ratio of woman employee in energy sector.” Minister Albayrak, in his speech, celebrated the 8th of March International Women's Day, wishing that it is to be a start to end gender injustice.

Awards Distributed in 6 Categories

During the ceremony of which jury members are Sabancı Holding Chairman Guler Sabanci, Chairman of Doğuş Group Ferit Şahenk, Demirören Board Member Meltem Demirören Oktay, Citibank General Manager Serra Akçaoğlu, Turkey Business Women's Association (TIKAD) Chairwoman Nilufer Bulut, Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) President Sare Aydin Yilmaz, Turkey Top Vitol Gülsüm Azeri Member of the Board, Member of the Board Istanbul Stock Exchange Erisah Arican and state artist Hulya Kocyigit awards were distributed in 6 categories.

New project will transform Kanal Istanbul into an electric power plant

Project is currently underway that will transform Kanal Istanbul into a structure that will meet all of Turkey's electricity needs. Kanal Istanbul is Turkey's key megaproject, and was originally announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2011. Some 14,000 megawatts per hour of electricity will be generated by an underwater turbine power plant, similar to a model that was implemented by Canadian researchers for deep sea use and planned to be installed in the Gibraltar Strait; a similar unit is also planned for Kanal Istanbul.

Turkey's current installed capacity is around 80,000 megawatts. The planned length of Kanal Istanbul is 45 or 56 kilometers. Eighty power plants, with 175 turbines each at 625-meter intervals, will carry a total of 14,000 turbines for the canal. The flow energy of the water will be utilized for electricity generation.

The project, whose patent was acquired by economist Fikret Bizimcan, was sent to the Prime Ministry and other ministries for approval. Bizimcan also presented it to the General Directorate of Renewable Energy. When the General Directorate recommended that he work with a university, the economist contacted Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ).

Bizimcan said the canal is reported to be 45 to 55 kilometers in length, 150 meters in surface, 120 meters in width and 25 meters in depth. He added that in this case, the strong lower and upper current power of the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea can be converted into electricity. "This system can be applied to all seas. However, its installation into Kanal Istanbul in the construction phase reduces the investment cost," Bizimcan added.

Bizimcan said the project was patented by the Turkish Patent Institute in May 2011 with the number 2011/04331. Informing Sabah that the intervals of 625 meters were planned in order not to cut the flow rate of water. Bizimcan said that 14,000 turbines will be corrugated, noting that if they are installed as 80 power plants, it is possible to generate 56,000 megawatts of electricity per year. "Turkey's current installed capacity is 52,300 megawatts. So this project will meet all of Turkey's electricity needs if it is realized," he said.

Bizimcan stressed that it is possible to manufacture the turbines in Turkey. "The nice thing is that this technology can be used in our seas and rivers," he continued, recalling that the project was sent to the General Directorate of Renewable Energy for its submission to the Prime Minister. "The relevant ministries saw and approved the project," he added.

The amount of upper stream water entering the Bosporus from the Black Sea is 260 cubic kilometers/year according to 2009 measurements. Water flowing from Marmara to the Black Sea amounts to 123 cubic kilometers/year.

"The water flowing from the Black Sea to the Marmara is 57 cubic kilometers/year; more than the Danube River. Compared to the flow rate of the world's greatest river, the Amazon, which is 378 cubic kilometers/year, it brings the Bosporus to the same level as the world's most important rivers," Bizimcan said. He also underlined that if the width of the channel is 150 meters with a depth of 25 meters, the speed of the water going through will be very high, suggesting that this is suitable for energy production.

Source: Daily Sabah

Record oil output from US, Brazil, Canada and Norway to keep global markets well supplied

Oil production growth from the United States, Brazil, Canada and Norway can keep the world well supplied, more than meeting global oil demand growth through 2020, but more investment will be needed to boost output after that, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest annual report on oil markets.

Over the next three years, gains from the United States alone will cover 80% of the world’s demand growth, with Canada, Brazil and Norway – all IEA family members – able to cover the rest, according to Oil 2018, the IEA’s five-year market analysis and forecast.

But the report finds that despite falling costs, additional investment will be needed to spur supply growth after 2020. The oil industry has yet to recover from an unprecedented two-year drop in investment in 2015-2016, and the IEA sees little-to-no increase in upstream spending outside of the United States in 2017 and 2018.

“The United States is set to put its stamp on global oil markets for the next five years,” said Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. “But as we’ve highlighted repeatedly, the weak global investment picture remains a source of concern. More investments will be needed to make up for declining oil fields – the world needs to replace 3 mb/d of declines each year, the equivalent of the North Sea – while also meeting robust demand growth.”

Boosted by economic growth in Asia and a resurgent petrochemicals industry in the United States, global oil demand will increase by 6.9 mb/d by 2023 to 104.7 mb/d, according to the IEA. China remains the main engine of demand growth, but more stringent policies to curb air pollution will slow growth. The increasing penetration of electric buses and LNG trucks will have a bigger impact on curbing consumption of transport fuels than the electrification of passenger vehicles.

In the United States, fuel-economy standards for passenger cars will curb gasoline demand with growth coming from the petrochemical sector, which is thriving thanks to low-cost ethane. New global petrochemicals capacity will account for 25% of oil-demand growth by 2023. Meanwhile, a new marine fuel rule with lower sulfur content that will come into force in 2020 is creating uncertainty in the market.

Global oil production capacity is forecast to grow by 6.4 mb/d to reach 107 mb/d by 2023. Thanks to the shale revolution, the United States leads the picture, with total liquids production reaching nearly 17 mb/d in 2023, up from 13.2 mb/d in 2017. Growth is led by the Permian Basin, where output is expected to double by 2023.

The path is clear to get those additional barrels to world markets. As a result of new investments in pipelines and other infrastructure that ease the current bottlenecks, US crude export capacity reaches nearly 5 mb/d by 2020 and Corpus Christi solidifies its position as the primary North American crude-oil outlet.

Virtually all of the OPEC output growth comes from the Middle East. In Venezuela, oil production has fallen by more than half in the past 20 years, and declines are set to accelerate. Sharply falling production in Venezuela will offset gains in Iraq, resulting in OPEC crude oil capacity growth of just 750,000 barrels a day by 2023. Unless there is a change to the fundamentals, the effective global spare capacity cushion will fall to only 2.2% of demand by 2023, the lowest number since 2007.

Oil 2018 also examines a variety of other topics including crude quality issues arising from the rapid increase in US production, changing trade flows and a growing global refining capacity surplus. Global oil trade routes are moving East, as China and India replace the United States as top oil importers. With seaborne oil traveling longer distances, energy security, one of the IEA’s core missions, will remain as critical as ever.

Source: IEA

Department of Energy Laboratories Sign MoU for Innovative Coal Research

Two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories with energy research expertise are joining forces to pursue research on new ways to use coal to create innovative high-value products. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed today by representatives of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) at NETL’s Pittsburgh site. DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steve Winberg attended the signing event.

“The MOU signed today signals the Department’s continued commitment to enhancing the use of our coal resources,” said Assistant Secretary Winberg. “The depth and breadth of scientific knowledge across the DOE enterprise, especially at our National Labs, is what allows for this kind of innovative partnership.”

Joining Assistant Secretary Winberg at the MOU signing were ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia, Acting NETL Director Sean Plasynski, and Lab employees. According to Plasynski and Zacharia, the MOU will lead to joint exploration of projects that use coal as a precursor for products like pitches, fibers, nanocarbon catalysts, and other structural or functional materials.

Types of joint research that will be pursued by the laboratories include:

  • Reduction of water consumption in energy production
  • Development and testing of materials for use in extreme environments with an emphasis on materials for power generation and the conversion, use, storage, and transmission of energy
  • Development of advanced electrical grids, microgrids, and cybersecurity technologies for energy infrastructure
  • Innovation of advanced manufacturing technology for energy production, especially fossil energy technologies
  • Execution of workforce and economic development initiatives in the Appalachian region

Representatives of the two laboratories also discussed other areas of mutual interest including advanced manufacturing, high performance computing, workforce development in Appalachia and extreme environment materials.

“Both laboratories bring specific experience, skills, and techniques to bear on challenges related to the efficient development of fossil energy resources,” said NETL’s Plasynski. “It is practical to make sure those various attributes are attuned to a progressive collaborative approach. Great positive strides will result.”

“Oak Ridge is a leader in transformational research, from fundamental science to applied technology, and we have a long track record of improving materials and applying them to new uses,” said ORNL’s Zacharia. “Breakthroughs in materials, as well as energy production and manufacturing, are critical for our national competitiveness. We’re glad to be partnering with NETL.”

Source: Department of Energy

EU Launches Blockchain Observatory with Ethereum Startup

ConsenSys, one of the most prominent startups in the ethereum ecosystem, will work with the European Commission on its EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which officially launched Thursday.

The Commission first announced the initiative last spring, citing its desire to expand institutional knowledge of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

"As an important actor in the blockchain community, ConsenSys will bring strong commitment to blockchain development, solid expertise and connections with the global blockchain ecosystem, and an entrepreneurial approach to engage with stakeholders and experts in the EU and worldwide," the EC said Thursday in a statement revealing the partnership.

ConsenSys, a global "venture production studio" that develops software primarily for the ethereum blockchain, was founded by Joseph Lubin, whom CoinDesk profiled for its Most Influential in Blockchain 2017 series.

Singular focus

The Commission's announcement specifically emphasized its desire to mobilize the blockchain for the benefit of the single European market, and noted that a primary objective of the Observatory and Forum is to build on existing projects to make sure they work across borders.
Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel commented:

"I see the blockchain as a game changer and I want Europe to be at the forefront of its development. We need to establish the right enabling environment - a Digital Single Market for blockchain so that all citizens can benefit, instead of a patchwork of initiatives. The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum is an important step in that direction."

Valdis Dombrovskis, an EC vice president in charge of financial stability, financial services and the Capital Markets Union, among other projects, who has previously commented on the EU's interest in blockchain technology, said the Observatory will also guide EU policymaking.

He praised the idea of blockchain technology, saying "among the many technologies that are driving digital innovation, blockchain has the potential to be truly transformative for financial services and markets."

Source: Coindesk

Trump’s tariffs and bitcoin’s boom share the same unexpected source: Cheap Chinese electricity

China is the third rail of the global economy. And by that we mean it's overloaded with electricity and prone to delivering huge shocks. Those power surges shift global markets and overload entire sectors.

On March 1, President Trump announced his intention to place 25 percent tariffs on foreign steel and 10 percent on foreign aluminum. Such a move has long been threatened as part of the president's “America first” approach, but it nonetheless caused alarm among economists, domestic manufacturers that rely on aluminum or steel, U.S. trading partners and members of Trump's own party.

In January, the prices of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies plunged upon news that China's government was cracking down on their production, destroying tens of billions of dollars of (on-paper) wealth.

Bitcoin and aluminum (and to a much lesser extent, steel) have one thing in common: They're efficient ways to convert excess electricity into something that can be saved and exported.

Since 2001, China has added more electrical production than the rest of the world combined. The country’s central and local governments have long prioritized ramping up electricity supply, from the Three Gorges Dam (which didn’t fully come online until 2012) to hundreds of local coal plants.

China laps its nearest competitor (Brazil) in hydropower generation, leads the world in wind and solar, and is blowing past its renewable goals. At the same time, it keeps burning prodigious, world-beating amounts of coal.

By 2016, China had 35 percent more electrical-generation capacity than it needed, according to Greentech Media. In all but a few provinces, capacity well outstrips demand.

That year, China had to abandon at least 49.7 terawatt hours of wind-energy production — more than the individual outputs of 20 states and Washington that year.

As part of the latest five-year plan, the central government has deep-sixed more than 100 planned plants and scheduled market and grid reforms to more efficiently distribute electricity. It is restructuring the industry to end what the Financial Times’s Lucy Hornby called a “mutually destructive race to build new power plants” and is finally weaning the coal-power sector off of guaranteed quotas that ensured plants' profitability and continued production — whether they were needed or not.

Most changes haven’t taken effect yet. China is still virtually vibrating with excess electrical capacity.

There's no obvious place for all that electric energy to go. Storing electricity on this scale isn't feasible yet, and electricity requires extensive and impractical grid infrastructure to export.

But, faced with an excess of a cheap but valuable resource, China’s enterprises and entrepreneurs got creative. They found ways, through the alchemy of the global economy, to turn electricity into yuan or dollars. And if not dollars, then aluminum. Or bitcoin.

As it turns out, separating one metric ton of aluminum from its impurities requires about 14,500 kilowatt hours of electricity, enough to power a U.S. house or two for a year. They don't call the metal “congealed electricity” for nothing.

And unlike actual electricity, aluminum is easy to export — just ask Liu Zhongtian. The founder and chairman of one of China's largest aluminum companies, Liu shipped almost a million tons of aluminum from China to Mexico to Vietnam for reasons which remain unclear, but which attracted the attention of the Commerce Department.

Source: Washington Post


Energizing equality: The importance of integrating gender equality principles in national energy policies and frameworks

This assessment has been conducted to identify and understand the degree to which gender considerations have been addressed in energy policies, plans and strategies worldwide. Findings offer insights into the ways in which governments are recognizing gender considerations in the context of their energy policymaking and planning and trends with respect to key cross-cutting gender issues and regional comparisons.

Please click here to read the full report.