Turkey's high economic growth which had reached almost
double digits numbers by the middle of the last decade and stands
around an annual average of 4% dictates new and innovative
solutions to Turkey in order to reshuffle its energy
infrastructural base. In line with the fast economic growth
Turkey's energy needs has already increased to reach an annual
growth rate of 9% in the recent years. Given such an energy hungry
market it is not a surprise that based on the 2012 data, energy
industry has accounted 32% of all the deals for private sector
transactions and privatizations. Usually the decision taken by the
authorities for the liberalization of the energy market is
accounted for such growth in the Turkish energy market. Considering
the global trend of liberalization not only in energy sector but in
many of the regulated sectors had made such an effort of market
liberalization an imperative. Especially important for the
liberalization of the Turkish market was the adaptation of
Electricity Market Law and Natural Gas Market Law in 2001 and the
establishment of Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK).
However liberalization of the energy market and the concomitant
reforms have to go hand in hand with a structural change in the
Turkish energy market which still relies heavily on non renewable
fossil fuel based energy resources. Turkey's annual energy bill
which amounts to USD$ 60 billion can only be reduced through the
transformation of the Turkish energy market along the renewable
lines. This is a dire need since Turkey has long taken the decision
to cut down spending and reduce its lingering current account
deficit which has been haunting the country's economy for
years. Moreover the legal framework has to be ensured by the
authorities in order to facilitate such a transformation towards
the renewable energy. In this regard 2005 dated Renewable Energy
Law, which aims for the better utilization of renewable resources
for electricity generation alongside the diversification of energy
resources , has been serving as a major corner stone in this
transformation. The law was amended in 2010 to provide the
electricity producers from renewable energy resources a purchasing
price guarantee for 10 years period.
New Expectations in the Turkish Solar Energy Market
Given such a macro-economic background It is by no means a
surprise that Turkey is expected to attract a USD$ 1.2 billion
worth renewable energy project in the midterm. Turkey, as a country
geographically located in the midst of the Mediterranean climate
zone, offers a diverse range of opportunities for the renewable
energy projects. According to one of the Turkish dailies the
initial investment is going to focus on Turkey's solar energy
capacity and will try to utilize this capacity to produce renewable
energy. The first tenders are expected to be organized in order to
exploit the solar energy opportunities in two of the Eastern
Anatolian cities; Erzurum and Elazığ.
Turkey has a great potential for solar energy for geographical
and climatic reasons. Some southern parts of the country receive
sun rays in almost 300 days of the year with an average of 19
degrees Celsius. Renewable Energy Law has envisaged and allotted
spaces for the solar energy projects up to 600 megawatts.
Previously 496 different companies have applied for projects that
would amount to 863 megawatts and to 15 billion Euros. However
Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEİAŞ)
initially only allowed for the projects that amount to 600
megawatts to proceed with the additional advantage to benefit from
the investment incentives. In this regard 258 projects which have
been deemed convenient by the bodies have been endorsed and sent to
the Ministry of Energy. It is highly probable that following the
initial tender the solar energy projects will go on and the
investment will increase by the end of the year.
Turkey has already adopted a policy more geared towards the
support for renewable energy opportunities. The targets set for the
energy sector for the year 2023 includes the attainment of 30% of
the Turkey's energy needs from renewable energy resources. This
includes installation of capacity for wind energy that can sustain
20.000 megawatts, a capacity of 3.000 megawatts for the solar and
the capacity of 650 megawatts for the geothermal energy. Such
targets are attainable for Turkey but it will require more focus
for the R&D in the renewable energy sector alongside continuous
legal arrangements to keep up with the fast pace of change in the
global and the Turkish renewable energy markets.
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