Turkey achieved a record high annual capacity increase in wind energy in 2021 with the addition of approximately 1,750 megawatts (MW), according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency (AA) from Turkish Wind Energy Association (TWEA) data on Tuesday.
A previous record increase in annual wind energy capacity was reached in 2016 with 1,248 MW.
Turkey's total wind power installed capacity reached 10,750 MW by the end of 2021, with the number of wind energy projects in operation totaling 270.
According to TWEA data, wind power additions account for half of overall electricity capacity increases in 2021.
Ebru Arici, president of the Turkish Wind Energy Association, told AA that growth in this sector was attributed to the foreign currency-based incentive scheme - the Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism, also known as YEKDEM, which ended last year.
To benefit from YEKDEM, investors accelerated the commissioning of power plants, and currently, construction is ongoing for around 30 projects with about 800 MW capacity which is expected to be quickly commissioned this year.
Thanks to YEKDEM, last year's record growth was up 40% compared to the previous record in 2016.
Arici said that Turkey has stepped up its target to add 1,000 MW annually.
“We are in a position to activate 1,500 MW per year very easily. In particular, incentives for the use of domestic equipment and Turkey's carbon-neutral targets will play an important role in this increase,' she said.
The big trend in wind projects is in the introduction of solar power to build hybrid plants, which she said was already in motion with applications covering approximately 2,000 MW of capacity for hybrid plants.
-Turkey's wind energy journey
From its inception in 1998, Turkey’s wind power capacity has seen steady growth rates from 9 MW back then to 19 MW in 2000, to 66 MW in 2006 and up to 239 MW in 2007.
Wind power investments have increased more rapidly over the last 15 years, accelerating to 2,355 MW in 2012, and 4,733 MW in 2015.
The highest annual wind energy capacity was commissioned in 2016 with 1,248 MW with the total installed wind power reaching 6,135 MW.
Turkey had commissioned 1,241 megawatts of wind capacity in 2020.
By Gulsen Cagatay and Nuran Erkul Kaya