Daily Sabah - The 23rd World Energy Congress (WEC), taking place 9-13 October, has brought together more than 10,000 participants from 85 countries. Organized under the motto of “Sharing for Peace”, energy supply security and diversification of energy were topics that dominated the proceedings. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro attended the congress on the 10th of October.
President Erdoğan said that WEC aimed not only to establish a platform to exchange ideas regarding energy’s vision and future scenarios, but also to make energy a tool for peace and justice. He also underlined that Turkey is working on securing sources to meet its energy demand, with emphasis being placed on diversifying energy resources. President Erdoğan noted that the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline project, which will transfer Russian natural gas to Europe through the Black Sea and Turkey, is progressing. He added that Turkey is seeking ways to implement plans for a third nuclear power plant and that the country aims to produce 10 percent of its electricity from nuclear power in the years ahead. Erdoğan also emphasized that most of the mega projects in Turkey will be completed by the end of 2016 or in 2017, and thus the country we will be closer to becoming a reliable partner in the natural gas trade with all countries in the region.
During his turn to address the participants, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia aims to abide by the Paris Agreement and reduce CO2 emissions by focusing on renewable energy. He added that although Russia is moving toward clean and renewable energy resources, gas consumption is not going down. With regard to energy supply to the EU, Putin said, "We have been providing energy to the EU for the past 50 years, and we are now working on a second project. We are discussing the Turkish Stream with President Erdoğan and our other partners."
Also speaking at the World Energy Congress, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said Azerbaijan's energy investments in Turkey will reach USD 20 billion. Aliyev, in reference to the bilateral energy projects between Azerbaijan and Turkey, pointed out that the two countries have cooperated on energy infrastructure, such as pipelines, to ensure energy security between both countries. He added that Turkey’s growing prosperity is important not only for Turkey as a leader in defining energy policy in the world, but also for the rest of the world.
Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım underlined during his speech that security and diversification of energy supplies has undoubtedly become an issue of national security. He added, "New actors are coming to the energy sector every day. The global energy community needs to address this transformation process accordingly." He then highlighted the importance of reducing and stabilizing energy prices and acknowledged that Turkey's demand for energy is nearly three-times higher than the world average.
Serving as the first global energy event held following the Climate Change Conference in Paris, the World Energy Congress was hosted by Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources under the aegis of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Aside from the aforementioned leaders, the list of attendees included Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian, Saudi Arabian Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid A. al-Falih, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Iraqi Electricity Minister Qasım M. al-Fahdawi, Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Boutarfa, Energy Minister of the United Arab Emirates Suhail Mohammed Faraj Al Mazroui, Venezuela Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino, and Maros Sefcovic, the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union.