With commitments to achieve around 5 gigawatts of solar capacity by the early 2020's, the Turkish solar sector is set for acceleration as a leading solar market in the coming years, a SolarPower Europe official said on Wednesday.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, James Watson, the CEO of SolarPower Europe said that currently, Turkish regulators are paving the way for the construction of solar in the country.
As solar is quite adaptable and versatile to all geographies, he said Turkish regulators are becoming more positive towards solar, and a big increase has been evident in the market to date.
Last year, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister presented the country's National Energy Strategy to focus its diversification of energy production on local resources.
According to the minister, Turkey's solar capacity is expected to grow by 10 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2023, in line with this strategy.
Following the strategy's announcement, Turkey opened solar and wind tenders to maximize the use of local resources as part of Turkey's Renewable Energy Resource Zone Projects (YEKA).
Watson hailed the project as a catalyst for increasing the uptake of solar provided it is well designed.
"What we have seen in other countries when a framework for the adoption and implementation of solar is designed well, actually, solar can be developed very quickly," he said, further explaining that as the technology is simple, it can be easily grid connected.
The monthly installation of 800 megawatts is a real testimony to the potential of the Turkish solar market, Watson stated.
Based on this progress, he expects to see a lot of cooperation between European and Turkish industries in their attempts to build not just for a large-scale market, but also on a small scale in Turkey.
- Trump’s import duties on solar panels only negatively affect U.S. market
The Trump administration's decision to enact section 201 in U.S. trade law to apply import duties on solar panels to target global competition "will have a dampening effect on demand," Watson said.
"... Demand will reduce because ultimately the cost of solar panels will increase by 30 percent," he said.
However, he said the market would not collapse but would operate at lower rates of return, because so far Trump has not removed the incentive scheme - the investments tax credit, which provides very good incentives that will somewhat offset the 30 percent cost increase.
He considers that the impact of the U.S. decision will be very minimal with new global markets opening up on a daily basis.
He also asserted that the slight reduction in U.S. demand would not lead to the oversupply of panels elsewhere.
"I don’t see a major impact from that decision on other markets. It is just a pity for the U.S. markets," he concluded.
By Firdevs Yuksel & Gulsen Cagatay