Türkiye on Friday called for an establishment of a technical level working group to work on a “mega grid” under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The proposal, conveyed by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar, came on the sidelines of the fourth SCO Energy Ministers meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.

Türkiye is not a full member of the SCO but has been a dialogue partner of the organization since 2012. It has, though, expressed willingness to join members that include China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Attending via videoconference, Bayraktar said energy transition can only be achieved through fundamental changes that require significant investments, and also with both regional and global cooperation.

He said that Türkiye is developing a unique energy transition strategy that will lead the country to achieve decarbonization goals by 2053.

Highlighting the importance of infrastructure for the energy sector, Bayraktar said: “Without transmission, there is no successful energy transition.”

Bayraktar reiterated Türkiye’s aim to build a grid that will enable the country to add 60 gigawatts of solar and wind in the next 12 years in line with its national energy strategy without compromising energy security.

“There is a lot more potential and synergies to create if we expand these intergovernmental cooperations for joint infrastructure projects,” he said and added: “All SCO countries can work together to establish a well-integrated mega grid and also power markets coupling and extensive EV charging networks.”

Bayraktar also cited the ongoing cooperation with neighboring countries Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Bulgaria and Greece to increase interconnection capacities.

“I propose establishing a technical-level working group to work on this mega grid under the umbrella of SCO. Our idea should be creating regionally coupled markets that effectively utilize resources across regions, delivering electricity effectively between countries,” the minister noted.

“If the member countries approve, we would like to host the first technical meeting of this working group in Türkiye this upcoming fall or next spring in the year 2025,” Bayraktar added.

The minister also pointed to the potential among member countries to further improve energy transition technologies and address more markets globally via international cooperation.

“Our countries are blessed with abundant resources, including natural resources like oil, gas, minerals and human resources and institutions like universities and research centers. By working together, we can leverage these resources more effectively and ensure that benefits are widely shared,” he said.

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