Cablegate: Turkey/Oes Pd Program: Doe Expert Promotes

Published: Fri 22 Oct 2004 02:10 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
1. Summary: Under a grant from OES Public Diplomacy, the
Ankara Regional Environmental Hub implemented a speakers'
program on Renewable Energy in Turkey, October 11-15, with
events in Istanbul, Ankara and Adana, in cooperation with the
Ankara Public Affairs Section and the Adana Consulate. The
program featured Dr. Robert Dixon of the U.S. Department of
Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and
highlighted U.S. policy and technological leadership in
renewable energy, raised awareness about Turkey's renewable
energy potential and promoted bilateral scientific and
commercial cooperation. End Summary.
2. Turkey has tremendous potential in renewable energy --
and it will need to exploit that potential. Turkey is highly
dependent on imported oil and natural gas, and Turkey's
consumption of energy is expected to grow rapidly in line
with strong economic and population growth. Turkey is poised
to begin negotiations to join the EU and will be faced with
tougher environmental standards (including the Kyoto
Protocol) forcing Turkey to reduce its usage of dirty energy
sources such as coal and hydrocarbons to meet targets for
greenhouse gas emissions. The GOT expects Parliament to pass
legislation to promote commercial development of renewable
energy. In addition, the World Bank is implementing a
program to encourage investments in renewable energy.
However, public support for renewable energy is small and
government and private sector interest remains limited. The
Turkish government is eager to cooperate with the U.S. to
promote renewable energy in Turkey. Energy Minister Guler
is a strong advocate for the hydrogen economy, and officials
at MENR have expressed their desire to cooperate in a number
of areas, including: wind and solar technology, hydropower
projects and clean coal technology. Dr. Dixon's visit served
as a useful follow-up to the September 21 visit of Energy
Secretary Abraham and also highlighted the commercial
opportunities for U.S. companies in these fields.
3. The primary event in Istanbul was a Eurosolar (European
Association for Renewable Energies) workshop convened at
Marmara University, 12 October 2004, and organized by
Professor Tanay Uyar, Eurosolar Turkey President and Vice
President of the World Wind Energy Association. Dr. Dixon
was one of five speakers and offered two presentations: U.S.
Renewable Energy Activities, and, History and Current Status
of Energy Efficiency Activities in the U.S. Turkish speakers
discussed the opportunities and obstacles for renewable
energy in Turkey, focusing on Turkey's draft law to promote
renewable energy, which they expected would spur wind power
development but which provided inadequate incentives for
other renewable energy sources.
4. While in Istanbul, Dr. Dixon and REO Kurt Donnelly met
with UNIDO and Sabanci University officials regarding the
establishment of the International Center for Hydrogen Energy
Technologies, sponsored by UNIDO and the Turkish Ministry of
Energy and Natural Resources. Dixon reviewed U.S. hydrogen
sector research, development and deployment activities, and
briefed the Turkish officials on the International
Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy.
5. The second segment of the public diplomacy mission was
hosted by the Turkish-American Association, where more than
50 officials from the Turkish energy community attended the
13 October 2004 event. Dr. Dixon offered a presentation
entitled U.S. Renewable Energy Activities. This was an
excellent event and the presentation warmly received. The
question and answer session was lively and lengthy, and a
number of new U.S.-Turkey energy technology working
relationships were established and other relationships were
advanced. There was moderate press coverage of the Ankara
6. In Ankara Dr. Dixon, REO Donnelly and Econoff David Young
met with Turkey Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources
Deputy Under Secretary Selahattin Cimen. Dixon extended an
invitation to Cimen to visit Department of Energy
laboratories and the California Fuel Cell Partnership in the
near future. Cimen said that the Turkish government
recognized the importance of renewable energy for Turkey's
development, adding that Turkey could save $3 billion per
year with energy efficiency improvements. Cimen explained
that Turkey's parliament would soon pass a law to promote
renewable energy and he thought there would be good
opportunities for U.S. companies in this emerging sector. He
also revealed Turkey,s interest in joiningn the
International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy. Cimen
said Turkey was eager to cooperate on a range of issues,
including the hydrogen economy, renewable energy, hydropower,
clean production and clean coal technologies, all potential
deliverables under the US-Turkey Energy Technology
Cooperation Agreement. (Note: The US-Turkey Energy
Technology Cooperation Agreement was signed March 20, 2002,
and provides a mechanism to expand and intensify cooperation
in energy technology in the following areas: efficient and
advanced energy technologies, fossil and advanced power
systems, new and renewable energy technologies, energy
efficiency, energy information, basic energy research and
other areas of energy cooperation.)
7. The final segment of the public diplomacy mission was a
renewable energy seminar organized by the Adana Consulate,
Eurosolar and Cukurova University, 14 October, and attended
by approximately 80 Turkish energy sector and business
officials. Dr. Dixon and two Turkish speakers presented a
two-hour update on U.S. and Turkish renewable energy programs
and activities. The question and answer session following
the presentations was excellent. A number of new
U.S.-Turkey energy technology cooperation relationships were
established. There were a considerable number of press at
the Adana renewable energy event. The Adana Consulate also
organized an excellent tour of Cukurova University and their
clean energy activities. Turkey and the U.S. have existing
energy technology cooperation at Cukurova university via the
International Energy Agency and bilateral channels.
8. Dr. Dixon was an outstanding speaker. His presentations
demonstrated U.S. leadership in this environmentally-critical
sector, provided an important follow-up to the September 21
visit to Turkey of Energy Secretary Abraham, and laid the
foundation for cooperation with the Turkish government and
commercial opportunities for U.S. companies. Just days after
his program, Dr. Dixon reported that he and DOE colleagues
had received numerous follow-up e-mails. In addition,
embassy has received several commercial inquiries. The
support of Embassy Ankara's Public Affairs Section was
essential for the success of the program. Our PA colleagues
provided REO with advice and administrative support,
including managing the grant. The program was geared to the
particular opportunities in each city. In Istanbul, an
international business and conference center, we focused on
reaching the academic/scientific community. In Ankara, the
focus was on public policy, and in Adana we reached out to a
broad business audience. Dr. Dixon was warmly received by
all Turkish officials; the atmosphere of cooperation was very
friendly, and a number of existing of future areas of
cooperation was identified on the margins of the public
diplomacy mission. This mission strongly advances OES
public diplomacy goals, as well as fulfills milestones and
goals of the U.S.-Turkey Energy Technology Cooperation
Agreement. Embassy Ankara encourages DOE officials to
promptly build on Dixon,s successful mission and continue to
fulfill terms of the Energy Technology Cooperation Agreement.
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