A new energy paradigm for Turkey: A political risk-inclusive cost analysis for sustainable energy
Implementing sustainable development policies in order to achieve economic and social development while maintaining adequate environmental protection to minimize the damage inflicted by the constantly increasing world population must be a major priority in the 21st century. While the emerging global debate on potential cost-effective responses has produced potential solutions such as cap and trade systems and/or carbon taxes as part of evolving sustainable energy/environmental policies this kind of intellectual inquiry does not seem to be an issue among Turkish policy-making elites. This is mainly due to their miscalculation that pursuing sustainable energy policies is much more expensive in comparison to the utilization of fossil fuels such as natural gas. Nevertheless the pegged prices of an energy sector dominated by natural gas are illusive as both the political risks and environmental damage have not been incorporated into the current cost calculations. This paper evaluates energy policies through a lens of risk management and takes an alternative approach to calculating energy costs by factoring in political risks. This formulation reveals that the cost of traditional fossil-based energy is in fact more expensive than renewable energy. In addition to being environmentally friendly the paradigm shift towards renewable energy policies would provide Turkey with a significant opportunity to stimulate its economy by being one of the first countries to develop green technologies and as a result this burgeoning sector would prompt job creation as well ; mainly due to the externalities. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.