Frequently Asked Questions 8

Those who follow my blog posts know that I regularly answer questions about my business life or my views on different topics. This is the eight series of my “Frequently Asked Questions” section in which I answer your questions about the world I dream of, my speeches, my “Turkia ”name suggestion, the sustainability of TİDER and the dynamics of the renewable energy market.

71. I see you giving speeches in many places. Where do you speak? What themes do you deal with in your speeches?

I often speak in many different places. Along with giving lectures to primary school, middle school, high school, university and graduate students, I have also given speeches to social entrepreneurs or NGO professionals and public authorities at seminars and conferences where employees, managers, entrepreneurs attend. In fact, I have spoken twice at Turkey’s Grand National Assembly (TBMM - Parliament).

My conversations usually take place in my own country. However, I have spoken in many different countries such as Brazil, Austria, England, Germany, USA and Canada and I continue to do so. For example, I have a speech in China next month.

The theme of my speeches are mainly on sustainability, renewable energy, EkoRE and TİDER. However, if further demand comes out of these themes, I can also talk about specific energy fields like zero waste, family businesses, my career, solar or biogas, or on different topics depending on the request. 

 

72. What kind of world does Serhan Süzer want to see?

Where there are people who protect our nature and hence our planet, where technologies are constantly evolving while preserving ethical values, where a certain balance exists on our planet (population) and at the same time where people can build life on other planets, galaxies, where all people have high levels of education; I want to see a world where they can have a happy life, there are no wars, threats and harassment, the crime rate is almost non-existent, the bad people are suppressed and the evils are minimized, the borders are removed for everyone to enjoy.

 

73. How do you achieve sustainability with TİDER (Basic Needs Association)?

We provide it in two ways. First, we contribute to the natural sustainability of the world with our vision of preventing waste. You can better understand what I mean by looking at the below vision of avoiding waste:



Secondly, we aim to ensure economic sustainability by finding jobs for those in need of which we meet their basic needs on a temporary basis or by allowing them to earn income with our micro entrepreneurship programs.

 

74. "When I said that Turkey's English equivalent name should be ‘Turkia’ instead of 'Turkey', the classic response I got was “Turkey should be used instead of Turkia”. Isnt the word Turkey more suitable for us?

It’s a nice wish but unfortuntely not suitable simply because foreigners can not pronounce Turkey like us. The words they use sound like “Torkay” or “Turkay”. Infact, as I stated in my article which you will find at https://serhansuzer.com/en/turkiyedeki-gunes-enerjisi-sektorunun-nabzi, the suffix ’ia’ in English is the equivalent of ‘istan’ in Turkish. In other words, when you bring a nation or ethnicity to its end, you define it as “it’s their” country. For example, Bulgaria means the country of Bulgars, Malaysia, the country of the Malays. This is the case all over the world. I can give you many more examples:

Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, North Macedonia (Greek friends please don't get mad), Malaysia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Syria and many other countries that I cannot count.

The most recent example added among the countries ending with “ia“ is “Czechia”. If they were able to get “Czechia” accepted to the world instead of “Czech Republic”, then why shouldn't we?

 

75. The second classic response on my proposal to be called ‘Turkia’ instead of ‘Turkey’ was as follows: “Let them call us Turkey.  When they call us Turkey, do we suddenly become turkeys? Instead, we should try to correct ourselves as a country. Let's get to work, improve our image. Is this not right?

I don't want my country to be called a “turkey”. I know that the vast majority, especially those living abroad (I know from the messages I receive) think like me. Because when you live abroad, you come across situations of laughing in a good or malicious way. Interestingly a part of the population living in Turkey cannot comprehend it. We have been trying to correct a mistake that has been made on behalf of the country for decades, and I have difficulty understanding non-constructive criticism in our country such as “why bother with this, get on with your life”. I would like to reiterate that I will continue to do my best to rectify this mistake.

Also, you cannot leave the correcting of a country image up to the public (Ministry of Tourism and Culture). This is a repetition of past mistakes. It is our responsibility to correct this image.

All my life I’ve been the one who always took action. So, I don't judge others and lay down the law. I have done a lot for the image of the country, and I will continue to do so.

Here is an example:
 

I spoke on behalf of Turkey on a program which the former US vice president Al Gore's climate change was discussed:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_25mBIoP34

Here is the second example:

In 2017, TİDER, the association of which I am the founder, was awarded for the first time in its history the innovation award of the Global FoodBanking Network, of which all food banks are members. This very important achievement and interview gave Turkish NGOs an advantage: https://www.foodbanking.org/lifting-people-out-of-poverty-tiders-support-hr-program-wins-global-food- bench-Innovation-award/

Here is the third example:

In 2017, TİDER, the founder of which, was awarded for the first time in its history the innovation award of the Global Foodbanking Network, of which all food banks are members. GFN crowned this very important achievement in terms of Turkish NGOs: https://www.foodbanking.org/lifting-people-out-of-poverty-tiders-support-hr-program-wins-global-food- bench-Innovation-award/

As the company EkoRe which I am the founder for, we laid the foundations of an integrated solar panel production facility which is the first time a four processes-in-one facility is made available in Turkey and with this, we used “Turkia” as the introduction to the video presentation of this facility which will perhaps signify it as a world brand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=9LX3lLEtOK8

So, I personally do everything necessary with my team for the image of the country. The English citizen should use the name “Turkia”, which suits us (both in terms of sound and meaning), and to appreciate the country's potential and put us at the top of its mind (and not by referring to us as the animal). I'm not just talking about it; I'm doing what I need to correct it”.

Everywhere I go abroad, I will correct the term “Turkey” when I hear it. I will always use the word “Turkia” in my speeches and presentations. This should be known to everyone.

76. You had a groundbreaking ceremony in Niğde Bor. Did it make any noise in the market?

Yes, it did bring a lot of noise. Both our news appeared in many places in Turkey and abroad. The fact that it appeared in many places like Italy to China really surprised us, in a good way. I would like to share some of these with you:

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/03/11/ekore-breaks-ground-on-1-gw-vertically-integrated-module-factory-in-turkey/

 

https://www.pv-tech.org/news/ekore-building-worlds-first-ever-vertically-integrated-heterojunction-modul

 

https://kknews.cc/zh-cn/world/qgm5v3o.html

 

http://www.rinnovabili.it/energia/fotovoltaico/turchia-fabbrica-fv-integrata/

We're seeing all the benefits from it now. Last May, I spoke at Intersolar in Germany, one of the largest solar energy events in the world. I will also speak at SNEC, one of the world's largest solar energy events, organized in China in June.

These are the messengers of the beautiful future we will establish as EkoRE…

 

77. What do you think is most needed in the field of energy for the future of the world?

I think 100% renewable energy should be used all over the world. Regardless of the distributed system or the central model, in any case, we need to supply the energy we need with complete renewable energy.

Fossil resources also need to be used as raw materials instead of fuel for energy. In other words, petroleum should be used in petro-chemical sector and natural gas should be used in fertilizer production. In addition, materials such as plastics must be absolutely recyclable. By burning fossil raw materials, we both pollute our nature and cause climate change and spend a resource that can be very important for future generations.
 

78. How do you think renewable energy offers opportunities for new companies and independent entrepreneurs to invest in this field? What are the banking financing models and the threats for new investors?

There are great opportunities. Everyone is responsible for the process of restructuring the sector. There are many different things that renewable energy investors and entrepreneurs, technology producers, companies and banks that need distributed systems for their own consumption can do.

For example, when the market for roof-top or distributed systems is fully opened, the cake will grow significantly for everyone.

Likewise, we will continue to hold large-scale power plant tenders in different regions in our country and around the world. These projects should be followed by investors and the banks. There are great opportunities in the near geography, especially in Africa and Central Asia.

We, as EkoRE, are open to cooperation with all companies that do their job properly and act with the effort to serve the solar energy sector.

Let's open a parenthesis for our banking sector. Bankers in Turkey have remained really obsolete in this regard. Many still don't understand the nature of the business. What they call project finance is not really project finance. Bankers need to change their perspective. Otherwise, they will not be able to support this innovative sector which is very important for our world. In other words, bankers need to improve and develop themselves immensly. 

79. When will the integrated facility established in Niğde go into operation? Can we get information about the facility's employment opportunities and production capacity?

We plan to bring out the first solar panels in the first half of next year. We will start panel and cell production investments at the same time. Cell production will begin after panel production. In other words, we are planning to start the production of both cell and panels next year.

In total, we plan to create 1,500 jobs in a 1 GW factory. Of course, this number of employment will increase as the capacity of the factory grows.

It is necessary to understand the scope of this giant project. In crystal technology, we are building a large facility in which 4 important production stages such as ingot, wafer, cell and module production are combined. Our project area is approximately 620 acres. A land of this size can accommodate a total capacity of 2 GW in all its processes. That is 2 times the 1 GW capacity subject to incentive. Our vision is based on increasing demand and making capacity increases. In other words, if there is demand in the domestic market or if we increase our exports, we plan to make additional investments for a capacity increase. 

80. What do you think about the liberalization of the energy market? Should we proceed with the liberal economy, or should we continue with the project model developed by the state?

I think that the government should promote self-consumption or PPA (electricity purchasing contracts) models rather than the project model developed by the government. I am in favor of the liberalization of all markets. Energy models around the world have started to be built on “on-site production and on-site consumption” and “renewable energy”. This is a transforming situation in the world, which we will not be able to stand in front of. In other words, it should be possible for each building or electricity consumption point to generate its own energy through its own investment or through another investor. If this is achieved, then there will be no need for incentives. Contrary to the perception created, renewable energy does not need incentives when the sector is liberalized.

We also need to take fast steps to support this trend. And to those who say things like “there are laws and regulations necessary for self-consumption, anyone can do this”, I would like to say: Laws and regulations are important, of course, but the essence of the work and what needs to be done is with practice. There are two reasons why there is not enough demand in self-consumption. First, in practice everyone faces great difficulties. Municipalities or related institutions and organizations create all kinds of difficulties in the installation of these plants. These practices should be impartial, transparent and within a certain period of time. For example, the permits must be issued within 1 week as of the application date. And in order to work equally and fast for everyone, there should be no further expectations from anyone. In addition, financial mechanisms should be developed for the natural self-consumption model. Its up to the banks and financial institutions to put this into practice. In order to accelerate the financing outside the banking sector and to ensure a sound financing structure, at least the PPA (energy purchase contracts) model should ensure that the capital of different investors is transferred to the business. Finally, I need to tell you that the use of "distribution companies," in Turkey is true. A model that includes them in the sector can create a ‘win-win’ situation for all very easily.

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