Turkey's solar energy saw a massive 230 percent upturn in 2016 from figures in 2015, according to data of the country's Energy and Natural Sources Ministry on Friday.
Unlicensed solar energy saw the biggest contribution to the country's electricity grid in 2016 with total solar installation of 819.6 MW from around 248.8 megawatts (MW) in 2015.
Overall renewable energy capacity grew last year and the country added over 5 gigawatts (GW) of electricity to the grid in 2016 from different sources, the ministry's data shows.
Turkey's installed electricity capacity reached over 78.49 GW from 73.14 GW with the addition of 5.35 GW last year.
Clean energy sources led in electricity installation last year.
In 2016, geothermal capacity grew to 821 MW from 624 MW - a 31.5 percent rise on 2015.
In addition to geothermal and solar energy, wind energy played an significant role in Turkey's total electricity installation.
These three clean sources combined were the top renewables in Turkey. Wind energy rose around 27.5 percent to 5.73 MW of total installed capacity from 4.49 MW in 2015.
Hydropower installed capacity increased 4.5 percent in 2016 by 9.41 GW with total hydro-electricity capacity reaching 26.68 GW.
- Domestic coal to grow in 2017
While clean energy sources will make a susbtantial contribution to the country's total electricity generation, domestic coal will also grow in capacity in 2017, ministry data predicts.
On Monday, Energy and Natural Sources Minister Berat Albayrak said that new domestic coal and solar energy tenders will be realized, and with the help of new capacity, the total electricity installed capacity will grow in the first quarter of 2017.
He also said with additional investments, the share of renewable and domestic sources in current electricity generation will rise.
The installed capacity of domestic coal in 2015 was around 9.41 GW, and grew 4.5 percent to reach 9.84 GW last year.
Natural gas installed capacity and liquefied natural gas sources reached 21.22 GW in 2016 from 22.15 GW in 2015.
The number of power plants in electricity generation in 2016 reached 2,321 overall, up from 1,514 in 2015.
- Half of electricity generation from clean energy
Energy Exchange Istanbul (EXIST) data shows that half of Turkey's electricity production came from renewables.
In 2016, the country's total electricity generation was 269.8 kilowatt-hours, of which 131.8 kilowatt-hours, or almost half, came from domestic and renewable energy sources. The share of renewable energy rose from 44.3 percent to 48.9 percent in total generation.
Natural gas’s electricity production was 89.14 million kilowatt-hours, of which 46.76 million came from imported coal powered plants.
Thus, the share of natural gas was 33 percent while imported coal's share was around 17.3 percent for 2016..
By Gulsen Cagatay & Nuran Erkul