The 3 Ds of energy: Will they prove crucial in achieving net zero by 2050?

Here's how a conglomerate is showing the way to achieving net zero.
Sponsored Bysabanci_logosu_erkek.png
Created: 4/12/2023
Sabanci Holding
Sabanci Holding

Sabancı Holding 

“The energy transition is far from being on track and anything short of radical action in the coming years will diminish, even eliminate chances to meet our climate goals. Today, governments are facing multiple challenges of energy security, economic recovery, and the affordability of energy bills for households and businesses. Many answers lie in the accelerated transition.” – Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA.

The transition to renewable energy sources is becoming increasingly urgent as the world faces the challenges of climate change. However, this transition is not without its challenges. The war in Ukraine, coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic, a centralized system highly dependent on fossil fuels, and the rising oil and gas prices have all dented the global energy transition efforts.

Speaking at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, Francesco La Camera stated that rising dependency on fossil fuels would lead to energy poverty and loss of industrial competitiveness. He also stressed the need to scale the renewables massively to up to 40% by 2040 from the current 14% threshold.

Achieving this goal is a necessity since the transition to renewable energy resources will play a massive part in the global bid to keep the 1.5°C goal alive.

The future of energy

The 3 Ds of energy: Will they prove crucial in achieving net zero by 2050?
Energy fusion

Achieving net zero emissions remains the ultimate goal for countries around the globe. Simply put, net zero is the act of balancing the production and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Several countries across the globe have set the long-term goal of achieving net zero by 2050 to mitigate global warming. And the 3 Ds of energy are set to play a crucial role in achieving this target. But how?

Let’s take a closer look at these Ds with examples from Sabanci Holding, one of Türkiye’s biggest conglomerates, and learn how these giants are playing a critical role in creating a carbon-free economy by promoting sustainability.


Decarbonization is the process of reducing CO2 emissions from production plants and embracing practices that help achieve the long-term goal of a low-carbon economy.

A majority of the electricity production in the world is dependent on fossil fuels. While the current dependency is 62%, it is projected that reliance on fossil fuels to produce electricity will be reduced to 2% by 2050 in the Net Zero Emissions Scenario. And that would be possible only if we undertake the right initiatives.

With a focus on shifting to the use of renewable energy resources, here’s what Sabancı’s Energy Group President Kivanc Zaimler had to say.

“This is not an easy solution to implement as said. A long process is only possible with bringing together of different disciplines and different experiences, such as the public sector, industry, and academia. If we can safely replicate the fusion of atoms in the sun, if we can reach the hot steam under the earth and safely extract them, we can introduce innovations, game-changing technologies that will initiate maybe the change of an age, of a new era.”

“We are in search of new technologies for the future while also managing our present. We are making our next energy investments with the understanding of the new economy and completely focused on climate technologies.”

“While we have the largest renewable portfolio in Türkiye, which is one of Europe's largest energy markets, we are committed to making our new generation investments fully renewable from now on.”

The 3 Ds of energy: Will they prove crucial in achieving net zero by 2050?
Cutlass Solar II Project

Sabancı Holding’s subsidiary Sabancı Climate Technologies also recently acquired the Cutlass Solar II project in Texas. This 272 MW solar farm is expected to power up 40,000 homes with zero-carbon electricity, saving 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Sabancı Holding also makes venture capital investments in disruptive energy and climate technologies in the USA to be an early adopter of state-of-the-art innovations.

Sabancı Climate Technologies made a long-term strategic partnership with Safar Partners, one of the leading venture capital fund management companies in the USA, by investing in Commonwealth Fusion Systems – a company that designs fusion technology to provide limitless and clean fusion energy. This enables the growth of clean energy and mitigates the impact of climate change.

Another notable investment is in Quaise Energy – a company developing a deep geothermal drilling technology to provide economical access to deep geothermal energy resources. Such technology is profound for Türkiye, whose geothermal potential ranks top in Europe.

Pursuing sustainability, Sabancı Holding is also exploring the potential of green hydrogen business in a bid to make our world a better and healthier place to live. They have undertaken Türkiye’s first private-sector green hydrogen production and storage project, intending to grow the country’s generation capacity from wind and solar.

Kivanc Zaimler also stressed the importance of the green hydrogen business.

“We develop custom solutions in terms of decarbonization and efficiency. These are the actions we take for today. As for the future, we take part in first-mover corporations in new fuel technologies such as hydrogen. Türkiye has the potential to become Europe's largest green hydrogen supplier with its current renewable energy capacity.”


The 3 Ds of energy: Will they prove crucial in achieving net zero by 2050?
Solar panels

Decentralization is the process of reducing reliance on a few large generation plants and distributing generation evenly across the smaller plants closer to customers.

It focuses on micro-generation at the local level in a bid to reduce operational costs. Micro-generation at the local level is also a better option in contrast to managing a large power plant since the latter also comes with a significant energy loss.

Sabancı Holding’s subsidiary Enerjisa Enerji offers customers environment-friendly energy solutions with a focus on distributed generation, decarbonization, and efficiency.

The company has created a sustainable service-based business model and has been offering Energy Performance Contacts (EPCs) that help business-to-business (B2B) consumers contribute to decarbonization and make payments as a percentage of their energy savings.

Enerjisa Enerji also makes notable investments in the electricity grid and the e-charging infrastructure. As an enabler of e-mobility, they have been operating Türkiye's first, largest, and fastest electric charging station network.

Zaimler also sheds light on Sabancı Holding’s breadth of initiatives apart from electricity generation.

“Our business is not limited to generating electricity only. We invest in and build distribution networks that will support the distribution of this energy. We deliver uninterrupted electricity to 25 million people. We bring the e-mobility approach to electric vehicle charging networks. We offer e-mobility solutions with Türkiye's largest and fastest charging station network.”

Enerjisa has also made history – its 4.2 MW solar installation on Ali Sami Yen Sports Complex Nef Football Stadium broke a Guinness world record for the biggest installed capacity on a stadium rooftop.


We are undergoing a rapid shift to smart technologies, and rightly so, since smart devices ensure an improved standard of living. Thanks to IoT, it’s now possible to measure the usage of energy, manage it, and conserve it when necessary.

IoT consists of several modules, including smart meters, solar panel batteries, refrigerators, wind turbines, smart buildings, automobiles, and charging stations. Thanks to the use of these devices, we can balance the grid efficiently while optimizing resource deployments based on the market demand.

The 3 Ds of energy: Will they prove crucial in achieving net zero by 2050?

Furthermore, digitization also helps reduce manual work and improves efficiency in terms of measurement. A good practice is Sabancı Holding’s subsidiary Enerjisa Üretim which brings innovative- first-in-market business models leveraging digital.

They have established the control room SENKRON which carries out the remote operation and monitoring processes of hydroelectric, thermal, wind, and solar power plants from a single location. Such multiple facility management helps build an uninterrupted supply of energy with maximum efficiency and reduces energy costs.

Kivanc Zaimler also gave us an insight into how helpful SENKRON is in terms of managing generation plants.

“We can monitor 23 of our generation plants instantly. There are very few control rooms like it in the world. From here, we can create value both technically and commercially. This is also a step forward for unmanned power generation plants so called 'dark plants.’ Long story short, we bring an agile approach to digital transformation.”

Thanks to multiple facility management, it’s possible to provide uninterrupted energy and increase the performance of the plants with maximum efficiency while minimizing energy costs.

Considering all these, a new energy world is emerging that provides us with a cleaner, smarter, more sustainable, and digital way of living and dealing with our energy needs, wherever and whenever.

About Sabancı Holding

Sabancı Holding has been a pioneer in Türkiye for almost a century. As one of Türkiye’s leading conglomerates, they engage in a wide variety of business activities through their subsidiaries and affiliates, mainly in the banking, financial services, energy, industrials, building materials, and digital sectors.

They’ve formed partnerships across five continents and reached more than 40 million people worldwide. Sabancı Holding is working tirelessly to unite Türkiye and the world, ensuring a sustainable life by creating leading enterprises.

To achieve this long-term goal, they invest primarily in a ‘new economy,’ which is energy and climate technologies, advanced material technologies, and digital technologies. They are making venture capital investments in disruptive energy and climate technologies in the USA to be an early adopter of state-of-the-art innovations. Using an agile global footprint, they aim to design a sustainable future in their incessant efforts to achieve the goal of net zero by 2050.

Through its innovative and competent approach toward green living, Sabancı Holding has established itself as an experienced leader and a pioneer in sustainability. They have achieved a commendable command over operational processes and compliance with major global ESG indices.

In 2022, they received an “A” rating in the MSCI ESG Ratings assessment and an “A” rating in the Refinitiv ESG assessment among more than 50 companies in the Investment Holding Companies category.

Their “Low Risk” rating for the ESG risk metrics in the Sustainalytics ESG Rating put Sabancı Holding among the world's leading companies on ESG. Moreover, three of the nine Turkish companies included in the CDP Global A List, one of the world's largest non-profit environmental reporting initiatives, are a part of Sabancı Holding.

The stakeholders in the energy ecosystem are transforming their operations in the same direction as Sabancı Holding, not just for today but for tomorrow – aiming towards a sustainable future for generations to come.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board