IEA President Fatih Birol; “2023 Will Be a Much More Difficult Year for the Energy Sector”

International Energy Agency (IEA) President Fatih Birol stated that many countries in the world are in danger of entering recession due to the energy crisis at the conference themed “World Energy Crisis: Solutions and the Role of Renewable Energy” organized by Sabanci University Istanbul International Center for Energy and Climate (IICEC).


Birol said that the process that came with the Russian-Ukrainian War led to the global energy crisis and that the crisis raised the inflation rates in the countries to levels not seen in the last 40 years. Stating that the EU, Russia and developing countries will be most affected by the global energy crisis in 2023, Fatih Birol also stated the following in his speech;

“A week after Russia invaded Ukraine, on March 1, I said that the world had entered an energy crisis that it had never seen before. 2022 has been a bad year. This is a populist approach. 2023 will be a much more difficult year. It may be the case that we will be looking for 2022 which we do not like so much. The number one victim of the current global energy crisis will be developing countries. I see that energy-importing countries are about to enter the swirl of external debt. Countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa are included in this group.

Europe, the second region that will be affected by the crisis, needs to make self-criticism about energy. Europe is suffering the penalty for not diversifying its resources during this period. We might see a serious slowdown in the industrial sector in Europe. The problem of employment will also come with it. It may have political and social repercussions. Russia was one of the cornerstones of the world energy system. It was the world’s largest energy exporter. After February 23, that began to change. Russia is important for Europe, but Europe is also important for Russia. Now Russia, by a large margin, has lost its biggest customer. It is not easy to immediately substitute this with other customers.

“Global Energy Crisis Will Accelerate Renewable Energy”


Stating that many countries have accelerated the transition to clean and safe renewable energy technologies by issuing emergency financial and legal programs with the energy crisis, Fatih Birol stated that the renewable energy capacity in the world will increase by 2400 GW in 5 years and said;

“The increase in this period will be similar to the rise that the world has recorded in the last 20 years. We are seeing a rapid increase in solar and wind energy in particular. The increase in energy efficiency applications this year is 2 times the average increase, especially in buildings. The reason for this is the incentive mechanism of governments. In addition, 4 out of every 100 cars sold in the world in 2019 were electric. In 2022, 15 out of every 100 cars sold in the world became electric. In 2030, one out of every two cars that will be sold in the US, China and Europe, one of the world’s three largest markets, will be electric. All these developments positively affect the transition to clean energy.”

Solar and Wind Are Pioneers in Electricity Generation

Speaking at the ‘World Energy Crisis: Solutions & the Role of Renewable Energy’ conference held in Istanbul, IICEC Director Bora Sekip Guray also presented the report. According to IICEC Director Bora Sekip Guray, by 2050, the proportional contribution of renewable energy in Turkey’s electricity production may increase by two times, and the contribution of renewable energy in the total energy system may increase more than four times.

According to other details shared by Guray, in 2050, close to 90 percent of electricity production will be provided from renewable energy in the ‘high scenario’. In this direction, solar and wind will be at the forefront. The contribution of solar and wind to electricity generation could increase by 4 times in proportion to two-thirds in 2050. “Investments to be made especially for a renewable energy-oriented and efficient electricity system will greatly reduce Turkey’s fossil fuel imports and emission inventory,” Guray said.

“IICEC is a pioneering model and center in Turkey”

 Sabanci University Founding Board of Trustees Chairman Guler Sabanci stated that IICEC continues to bring stakeholders together to produce common sense within the “Success Triangle” model.

Expressing that she was very pleased to see that IICEC has expanded its work and sphere of influence within the ecosystem, Sabanci said, “This year, within the scope of its outlook series, IICEC completed a first and pioneering study in the sector with a participatory understanding with the stakeholders of the sector, which offers an analytical perspective focused on renewable energy, which is one of the most important opportunity areas of Turkey.”

Pointing out that they will listen to the critical findings and suggestions of this study, Sabanci said, “From now on, IICEC will continue its work to pave the way for Turkey’s energy and climate policies and to guide decision-makers and all stakeholders. I attach great importance to the creation of value from science-based approaches and collaborations. In this perspective, IICEC is a leading model and center in Turkey.”