What makes energy such a challenging and interesting issue? It has several aspects, sub-topics to discuss to answer that question. But, here is a tip for you: There is no one right answer. This is not an issue only for economists, political scientists, foreign policy analysists or engineers and surely they can address these issues alone. However, having a synthesis of insights and offerings of all disciplines are needed for energy and should be evaluated with a critical eye to reach the best.
Energy plays a significant role in every stage of the economy and, energy security is a fundamental part of international conflicts. Oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, and all types of renewable energies have their own advantages and disadvantages. Besides, not all sources are substitutes for each other. The primary concern is to acknowledge these advantages and disadvantages and, design an optimum policy mix for Turkey. In this way, we will bring both energy security issues to our attention. Reaching an optimum policy also requires that we take the advantages of our geopolitical location, young population, and increasing domestic aggregate demand on the energy sources.
Turkish energy policy choices are also important for other countries. For example, Baku-Tiflis-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline undoubtedly very valuable for Azerbaijan and Georgia. Eight percent of world crude oil pass through Turkish straits which are very important for rest of the world since the BTC Pipeline is one way to feed European countries. We are the second largest gas importer of Russia and, we are the top customer for Indian gasoil. All these raise another question of how we can design the Turkish energy policy as an advantage for us and our allies.
Emerging new trends in the energy sector will make the world completely different places in the following decades. Thus, understanding these trends and taking strategic positions on each part of the energy sector is essential for any firm or country. In this bulletin, volunteers will report the new developments, trends, and issues that the world had been following. I wish the volunteers from Bilkent Energy Policy Research Center (EPRC) would bring various issues to Bilkent community to create an awareness of optimum energy policy and the international dimension of Turkish energy policy. I wish all my best for the new challenging but enjoyable process.