By Muhsin Baris Tiryakioglu
Turkish solar power production increased by 175 percent to 2.8 million megawatt-hours in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to Turkey's Energy Market Regulatory Authority's (EMRA) data.
The installed power capacity of solar power increased from 939 megawatts to 2,978 megawatts year on year, representing a 217 percent rise, official information gathered by Anadolu Agency (AA) reveals.
The rate of solar electricity production out of all electricity production, increased to 0.97 percent in 2017, from 0.38 percent in 2016.
In 2017, solar production became the sixth biggest electricity resource after natural gas, coal, hydroelectricity, wind and geothermal power.
Turkish wind power production increased by 15.2 percent to 17.9 million megawatt-hours in 2017, the data also revealed.
Turkish solar market has further potential
To encourage the deployment of solar electricity production, which lagged behind renewable energy resources such as wind in recent years, Turkey launched Renewable Energy Resource Zone Project (YEKA) tenders for 1,000 megawatts of solar energy capacity in 2017 and in January 2018 eased regulations to promote solar photovoltaics on roof-tops.
In accordance with Turkish EMRA's revised legislation in January, Turkish citizens are allowed to install solar panels with a maximum capacity of 10 kilowatts with less red-tape than previously.
Moreover, as part of the country's policy to diversify towards renewable sources, Turkey's YEKA project inaugurated the country's first integrated solar module, cell and panel production factory at a groundbreaking ceremony in the capital Ankara in December.
According to the Turkish branch of the Solar Energy Society (GUNDER), Turkey holds the potential to increase its currently installed solar power capacity by a further 46,000 megawatts on roof space covering 1.1 billion square meters.