Solar energy is a key energy source to mitigate the high costs of Turkey’s imported gas, according to the head of the Turkish Solar Energy Industry Association, GENSED, Halil Demirdag, on Wednesday.
One thousand megawatts (MW) of installed capacity in solar energy will prevent $110 million worth of imported natural gas, Demirdag told Anadolu Agency's energy desk in an exclusive interview.
Turkey is a major solar energy player due to the country’s abundance of solar energy.
'In solar energy installed capacity, Turkey's share in the world has reached 1%. Turkey is very lucky in terms of geography when it comes to solar energy,' he said.
Turkey, which is highly dependent on natural gas for its domestic energy consumption, imported a total 50.36 billion cubic meters of gas in 2018. These import costs are seen as substantial on the country’s energy budget, and therefore, the country is focusing heavily on renewable energy investments, he said.
He explained that investments in renewables and solar in particular have lower financial costs, the results of which will see greater installed capacity in Turkey.
Turkey's current installed solar capacity is around 6,000 MW, but Demirdag believes this will surpass 10,000 MW this year.
Global installed capacity in solar energy has recently surpassed 500,000 MW, more than 80% of which came in the last five years, Demirdag noted.
In China, considered the world’s biggest solar panel manufacturers with a 90% share, the coronavirus outbreak has had an impact on solar production and its supply chain.
However, Demirdag expressed hope and said that these concerns are already being quelled by Europe’s decision to have at least a capacity of 10,000 MW in solar panel production.
He also referred to requests from European buyers in the past 15-20 days who are interested in purchasing textiles, automatives and spare parts from Turkey to shore up the shortfall in trade from China.
Writing by Ovunc Kutlu
Reporting by Murat Temizer, Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu