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State visit to Turkey: Opening speech at energy seminar

Speech given by His Majesty The King at the opening of a seminar on renewable energy in Ankara during The King and Queen's state visit to Turkey 5 - 7 November 2013.

Distinguished guests, 

It is a great pleasure for me to be here today, five years after Crown Prince Haakon opened a similar seminar from this rostrum. I am very pleased to note that cooperation between our countries has developed over these past years, and I am especially aware of the major investment currently being made through Statkraft’s significant hydropower projects in Turkey.

The MOU that is to be signed here today is evidence of the close cooperation between Turkey and Norway, especially in the energy field. Our cooperation is broad in scope, and designed to promote Turkish and Norwegian actors’ common interests. The hydropower sector is a case in point. This clean and renewable energy source furthers economic development and provides energy security. Not only is hydropower climate-friendly, but it also provides well for the energy needs of future generations.

I am also pleased to note the establishment today of the Turkish branch of Seed Forum which will start its work to match up Turkish startups and investors this autumn. Seed Forum is a network of not-for-profit foundations and national representatives that creates an attractive global meeting point for seed and venture capital. Seed Forum Ankara hopes to attract investors and startup companies from all over Turkey.

Turning to today’s topic, both Norway and Turkey are blessed with abundant hydropower resources. In Norway, this potential has been realized over the past 100 years to the extent that nearly all of Norway’s electricity needs are now met by hydropower. Turkey still has tremendous hydropower potential that has not yet been developed. At a time when a global transition to renewable sources of energy is needed, Turkey is therefore in a strong position.

One of the challenges, or rather opportunities, we are facing is how we can make the most of the excellent qualities of hydropower, while providing the right amount of storage capacity for changing markets. This can be especially challenging in markets that are drawing more on intermittent sources of electricity, such as wind power and solar power.

In the Norwegian electricity sector, power market reforms and regulatory administrative systems have been important for making efficient use of our resources. Norway deregulated its power market in 1991, and in 1993 we established a power pool, which now includes the whole of the Nordic power market.

The technological and administrative solutions used in Norway may be of interest to Turkey, as you now start to develop your own energy market mechanisms.

I wish you all every success with this seminar. More importantly, I hope a successful seminar will lead to successful cooperation between Norwegian and Turkish companies and institutions. 

Thank you!



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