I want to tell some important facts about Our Society. I hope You all can support me on this topic.
In 2020, 33.5% of the natural gas imported by Turkey was purchased from Russia. Although more gas has started to be purchased from Azerbaijan in recent years, Russia is still Turkey's number one gas supplier. In 2017, when Turkey imported the most gas in its history, 52 percent of the 55 billion-dollar import was made from Russia. In 2020, imports fell to 48 billion cubic meters. As the use of natural gas increases, we can say that this share will increase as the capacities of the pipelines coming from Russia are also available. Although not all natural gas imports are made through pipelines, factors such as prices in the spot market, transportation and long-term contracts provide advantages to countries that send gas to Turkey through pipelines such as Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan. To summarize briefly, Russia, which meets one third of our natural gas imports, seems to hold the strings in this area.
Russia factor in
natural gas and oil Turkey, which has limited natural gas resources, can meet less than 1% of its natural gas demand from its own fields. Our dependence on foreign gas is 99 percent. In oil, foreign dependency is around 90 percent. When we look at the countries we import oil from, we can see that Russian President Putin is looking at us with a slight smile. Because, after Iraq, Russia is the country we purchase the most oil from. 21 percent of imported oil comes from Russia. Russia's geographical proximity and the size of its oil and gas reserves make it an attractive seller for Turkey.
Russia in imported coal
Since we start the day by singing local coal songs every day, you can expect good news from another fossil fuel, coal, which Turkey uses a lot. Don't wait. The news from the coal is black like itself. Although Colombia ranks first in Turkey's coal imports, Russia succeeds in being on the podium in this field as well. The share of Russia, the second country from which we import the most coal, in our total imports is 34.4 percent. As Turkey continues to build imported coal-fired thermal power plants, the share of countries, including Russia, will increase. Turkey's intention, which until yesterday said it would not ratify the Paris Climate Agreement, was to build more coal power plants. Will Turkey take another path after the Paris Agreement is ratified? we will wait and see him. If it does not enter, it means that relations with Russia will continue in coal.
Let us remind you that Turkey's energy sector relies on oil, coal and natural gas, which we call fossil fuels. The share of natural gas and imported coal-fired power plants in electricity generation was 43 percent in 2020. If we look at the installed power capacities, we can say that this rate will rise even higher if the electricity demand increases. Russia is indisputably the most important supplier in coal and natural gas imports. In other words, it has a critical role in Turkey's electricity generation.
They will have a say in the electricity market
Dependence on Russia in electrical energy is not limited to this. The nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) stubbornly continues to build despite all warnings, also belongs to Russia. Russia, which provides indirect access to the electricity market with coal and natural gas, will appear as a direct player if Akkuyu ends and works. If we look at the demand forecasts made by TEİAŞ (Turkish Electricity Transmission Inc.) by considering the data of distribution companies and accept it as realistic, in 2027 Turkey will consume 362 billion kWh of electricity. 2027 is the year when all four reactors of the plant will operate and produce at full capacity if the Akkuyu nuclear power plant project is not cancelled. According to the claim of the Russian company, 35 billion kWh of electricity will be produced annually. This means that 10 percent of TEİAŞ' estimated demand will be met from Akkuyu.
Let me remind you for those who don't know or don't want to hear. 100 percent of the shares of the power plant under construction in Akkuyu is the Turkish extension of the Russian state company Rosatom. It belongs to Akkuyu Nuclear A.S and other Russian companies approved by Russia. As it is clearly stated in the current government's agreement with Russia, the Russian side cannot sell more than 49 percent of its shares even if it wants to. For this reason, Russia will always have a say in the power plant, which is planned to be operated for 60 years. As you know, we are a nation with a great heart. We did not spare the gestures we made on bridges and highways from Russia, which built a nuclear power plant on one of the most beautiful shores of the Mediterranean. We also gave a guarantee to buy the electricity produced by Russia's power plant at 12.35 dollars cents per kilowatt hour for 15 years. Whether it is needed or not, the electricity produced by the power plant will be purchased. Whether we cross the bridge or not, we pay the fee; same account.
Nuclear power plant will increase electricity prices
This purchase guarantee is not something to be taken lightly. First of all, the purchase guarantee given is about 4 times the market price. In Turkish, even if we find electricity for 3 cents in the market, we will buy it from Akkuyu for 12 cents. Considering that the price of the newly tendered wind and solar power plants is around 3 cents, it is seen that the same electricity we will receive from the solar power plant will be 4 times more expensive than nuclear. This, of course, will affect all life, from the electricity bill at home to the factories.
Turkey has become dependent on Russia in every field, from oil to natural gas, from coal to electricity. The fact that the AKP government, which has moved away from the West politically, finds the solution to approach Russia, also causes new problems in the field of energy. On the way back from Sochi, President Erdogan's offer to Putin to build two more nuclear power plants with Russia, telling Putin that they are aiming to build two more nuclear power plants, was the last of these problems. It is debatable whether Russia has sufficient financing to build two new nuclear power plants. If this mistake is persisted, Turkey will become dependent on Russia for electricity by 20-25 percent (it may vary according to the demand of that day). The indirect dependence we experience in the electricity market over coal and gas turns into a direct dependence on nuclear.
System change is the way to get rid of addiction
Getting rid of dependency on Russia is now a matter of transformation in the economic system rather than a matter of foreign policy. When relations with the West improve, buying coal from Australia or insisting on a nuclear power plant and having it built by the USA does not solve the dependency problem, it only changes "who we depend on". What we need to do is to take energy independence to reasonable levels. This energy production system, which is based on base-load power plants that dominate the market by working continuously, has actually turned into a rescue model for natural gas, coal and nuclear power plants, and its production is carried out locally (at home, at school, in places where there is consumption) and with small power plants (cooperatives, public, initiatives led by municipalities). If we do not start to do so, we will be condemned to power plants in the hands of a company or country. Fossil fuels of imported energy sources, therefore, if we consider that it is coal, oil and natural gas that caused the climate crisis, we all see that the ultimate goal is to zero imports for both economy and life. The good news is: this is possible.
With the establishment of the solar republic, the increase in the use of hydrogen energy, the implementation of energy-stingy buildings, the widespread use of vehicles such as the rail system, public transportation and bicycles, and the reduction of consumption by reducing working hours can save us from being dependent on Russia or another country in the field of energy.
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