The Turkish solar market holds a tremendous potential for the international photovoltaic industry. While constantly increasing energy prices and growing energy demand make energy from conventional sources more and more expensive, the country has superior solar radiation. Experts from the Turkish Solar Energy Industry Association Günder currently forecast up to 10 GW of installations by 2023. Even though the market is actually capped at 600 MW the international industry players pin their hopes on this specific market. Besides large-scale projects the market is also attractive for the smaller rooftop systems with self-consumption. Experts therefore see huge potential but warn that the market is not a fly-in-fly-out market. Serious involvement on site needs sustainable business strategies.
With a population reaching 76.7 million, Turkey’s energy consumption based on primary energy resources are continuing to increase. Total installed capacity of electricity is 69 516 MW and broke down by resources as 59,7 % thermic (natural gas, coals, liquid fuels etc.), 34 % hydro, 5,2 % wind and 1,1 % other renewables. Turkey pays millions of dollars to its energy imports every year. The solar energy has the potential to reduce this cost in outstanding size in medium and long term.
In parallel with its population and GDP growth, Turkey has been experiencing rapid demand growth in all segments of the energy sector for decades. Turkey is developing an integrated energy policy aimed at securing a reliable supply of energy, as well as to achieve a low-carbon and environmentally sustainable future. Turkey also intends to promote employment and economic growth through its energy development.
Solar energy has major role in Turkey’s renewable energy roadmap since the country is located geographically in a region called the “solar band”. Solar Energy is the most important alternative clean energy resource which is still untapped in Turkey. Cumulative installed PV power in Turkey is about 55 MW and still quite a little when compared with its high potential. The yearly average solar radiation is 1311 kWh/m² per year and 3,6 kWh/m2 per day. The total yearly insulation period is approximately 2460 hours per year and 7,2 hours per day. The energy yield potential for a PV plant is 1300-1600 kWh/kWp.
Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (ETKB) has updated its Strategy Plan (2015-2019) and declared to the public on December 3rd, 2014. According to this plan, it is aimed to reach 3000 MW by the end of 2019.
The acceptance process (preliminary, final) to obtain production license for small-scale PV power projects up to 1 MW are ongoing and Turkish Electricity Distribution Company (TEDAŞ) is speeding up the process. The legislation defines the unlicensed electricity power limit as max. 1 MW. Only the unlicensed PV plants have been installed in Turkey so far. Some investors preferred to setup MW scaled PV plants in total by covering a few unlicensed plants. 112 of 1.183 small-scale PV power projects (up to 1 MW) are already installed with 40 MW in total in 2014 while the rest of projects with a capacity of 833 MW applied to the Turkish Electricity Distribution Company (TEDAŞ) are being evaluated to receive the acceptance. Although the installed capacity is only 55 MW up to now, it proves an acceleration since the cumulative grid-connected installed PV power was about 2,5 MW and 6 MW at the end of 2012 and 2013, respectively. Additionally, in the first license application round for a total of 600 MW projected PV projects larger than 1 MW has been completed by exceeding the proposed capacity by 15 times with 496 applications made to Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) reaching 8,9 GW in total. Large-scale PV power projects of 13 MW received their preliminary licenses in 2014 and the rest of 600 MW (230 MW of this amount in the short term ) is expected to receive the licenses following the competition process driven by Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEİAŞ) in 2015 which will be given by Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK). It is expected that the other tenders and license procedures will be concluded in 2015. The ministry of council will determine the new capacity for licensed projects after 2015.