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7 Takeaways From Publishing 50 Issues of Synergy - Gökberk Bilgin

Recently, we published the 50th issue of our magazine. During our adventure that we started in September 2019, as the editor of Synergy, I gained some experience both in the energy world and in publishing. I want to share them with you in this article.

1) Interdisciplinary studies offer more inclusive solutions for energy policies.

Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary are concepts that are often considered synonymous but have different meanings. In multidisciplinary studies, people from various fields contribute to the project by working only in the area that concerns them, by dividing the work into a joint project. On the other hand, in interdisciplinary studies, experts from different fields interact with each other and realize their projects with the human capital they have created. Energy policies are inherently a multi-layered field that requires people operating in different fields to work together. For the studies in this field to have an impact, people who work on the technical and social sciences side of the business need to work together and have a basic knowledge of each other's issues.

Many energy studies in social sciences cause problems not to be addressed correctly because they do not have sufficient knowledge of technical issues. Similarly, people who have technical knowledge in the field of energy commodities act on the assumptions created by their own perceptions on social issues, which again leads to incomplete analysis. For this reason, we need to create and support platforms that will bring academics and professionals who want to work in the field of energy together. At Bilkent Energy Policy Research Center, we are trying to expand our activities in this field.

2) No type of energy is as good, bad, or innocent as it seems.

While fossil resources and nuclear energy have started to deteriorate with the recent climate change debates, renewable energy resources are reflected in the media as the solution to all problems. Unfortunately, this situation is not as precise and straightforward as shown.

For this reason, although we also mentioned the requirements of renewable energy in some of our publications, we did not hesitate to publish our views on their possible risks. We criticized the use of nuclear energy in countries with sharp statements on climate change, as well as our articles explaining that nuclear power plants can be built with the right technological infrastructure.

We have become one of the rare publications that can combine the unfavorable conditions created by the mines used in the production of renewable energy vehicles and the risks of water use in shale oil production. I think that thanks to this approach, we can make as objective publications as possible and act in accordance with the questioning nature of science.

3) The more prolonged the international climate targets are made, the more difficult it is to realize.

Today, many road maps are prepared for 2030, 2050, and beyond. Although many countries have committed to abiding by these goals, we see that these plans of developed economies are lagging behind in terms of their current location. The main reason for this is actually nothing more than basic human psychology. We value today more than tomorrow in our lives. Our habit of postponing behaviors such as healthy eating, sports, and giving up harmful habits that would put us in a better position if we did is universal. That's exactly why meeting our long-term climate goals is difficult. Leaders in countries governed by democracy deviate from climate policies in order to maximize this period by calculating that their rule will last around 5-10 years on average. Instead of investments that will create additional costs on economies, short-term but environmentally harmful policies may be preferred. As a result, it is not clear to what extent they will be held responsible for the failure to keep the promises made 30 years later, and the previous promises may be forgotten by the new goals set further.

For this reason, it would be a better approach to create short-term policies that will make our future more livable by bringing additional costs to the present and to impose penalties on responsible people in case of failure to make promises. Otherwise, it seems that policies made will not go beyond populist moves.

4) Turkey has a very promising human-capital in its energy sector.

Thanks to my recent studies at Bilkent EPRC, I have had the opportunity to meet many valuable experts and benefit from their ideas. The lectures in our master's program at Bilkent University and our invited speakers successfully play essential roles in the academy and business world. We are blessed that we can learn by asking the questions we have in mind in many areas, from the oil and natural gas sector to hydrogen studies, from renewable energy to finance. We hope to be useful in the future, together with many of my colleagues who have grown up with their experience and guidance.

5) Most of the international crisis are somewhat related with energy issues.

After following the energy news regularly, I have started to see energy-related links behind the world's major diplomatic crises. For example, when I look at it today, the oil sector restrictions in countries such as Venezuela and Iran, where the USA has imposed sanctions,, create remarkable impacts on world politics. On the other hand, we see that access to energy resources is at the heart of the crisis between China's expansionist stance on the South China Sea and other countries. Among the issues that countries cannot agree on the most in the European Union are energy policies choices. Of course, I cannot say that there are energy problems behind all crises, but it cannot be denied that the increasing number of actors, multinational companies and different technologies create additional conflicts over the use of resources.

6) Energy policies play more role in our lives than we think.

As soon as we reached more people with Synergy, people from different fields started contributing to our magazine. In this way, I have seen that energy policies actually affect our lives much more than we thought. Over the past fifty issues, we have had the opportunity to publish articles on how energy actors impact fashion, motorsports, agriculture and human psychology. Our vision has expanded with the content we offer to our readers.

7) Sustainable work goes together with a good team.

The most important rule that anyone who wants to publish a weekly publication should understand is that your excitement when you start work will disappear in a very short time. At this point, the articles' continuity and quality can only be achieved with a good team. While a lot of articles can be received in some weeks, sometimes we can publish very few articles due to the density. Having people you can trust in such difficult times provides you with the support you need to move forward. For example, our teacher Barış Sanlı contributes to our publication by writing articles almost every week despite his busy business life and shows us as an example that this work can also be done during busy times.

The excitement that disappeared in the early days is replaced by our increasing number of readers and the pleasure of being able to continue a business together, and you see, 50 numbers have passed.

In summary, this process was instructive and rewarding for my personal development, despite all its difficulties. I would like to thank all our readers for their support.


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