Renewable energy generation has accelerated in Turkey. Turkey has also accelerated its renewable energy investments in the last decade. The total installed power source has increased by 40%. Consequently, the wind has grown 9 times and the sun 195 times.
Renewable Energy in Turkey | A Long Way to Go
In Turkey, investments have revved with solar and wind energy-based electricity generation within the scope of incentives through the YEKDEM (Renewable Energy Support Mechanism). In fact, the installed capacity of wind energy has increased 9 times and the installed capacity of solar energy has increased 195 times since 2014.
However, the narrowing of the YEKDEM purchase period has broken the expectation that the growth will continue to this extent.
The public and private sectors try to find ways to extend or reshape this incentive through various channels. The private sector demands a foreign currency-based purchasing system, complaining about exchange rate volatility. On the other hand, the public sector tries to avoid foreign currency-indexed contracts.
Electricity Generation Based on Solar and Wind Energy
Turkey’s installed solar power almost reached 8 thousand MW by the end of 2021, which was 40 MW in 2014. 6 thousand 359.9 MW of this consists of installed unlicensed power plants.
Wind energy installed power reached 10 thousand 585 MW at the end of 2021. In 2010, the installed wind power was 1 thousand 329 MW. As of the end of 2021, 7.8% of Turkey’s installed power consisted of solar power plants, and 10.62% wind energy-based power plants.
Considering the actual generation, apart from the installed capacities, in 2021, 13.6% of the total energy production was from wind and solar. The share of hydroelectricity, which was 26% in 2020, decreased to 17% in 2021. However, sector officials point out that this share will increase once the dams reach a sufficient level.
Excluding hydroelectricity, all kinds of renewable energy generation including wind, solar, biomass reached an 18% production share in 2021.
Number of Wind and Solar Power Plants
According to the TUREB (Turkish Wind Energy Association), in wind energy, 231 companies have 272 power plants as of the end of December 2021. The installed power of these power plants is more than 10 thousand 585 MWm. There are 3 thousand 868 wind turbines in the power plants. Investment in 24 projects of 22 companies with an installed capacity of 926.86 MWm continues. 9 projects with an installed capacity of 215.2 MWm, which have been licensed, are waiting to start generation.
Besides, the number of solar power plants in Turkey is 8 thousand 389.
In electricity generation based on wind and solar energy, functions such as backup and cost control are included in electricity generation because it depends on the naturals. Technologies for energy storage to meet large consumptions are still in the research phase.
Lastly, despite the disadvantages, due to Turkey’s high solar and wind potential, the question of whether large investments to be made in this field will have a function to cover possible losses in electricity generation remains on the agenda.