Turkey aims to reach 20,000 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity in wind energy by 2023, Hakan Yildirim, President of the Turkish Wind Energy Association (TWEA), told Anadolu Agency's Energy Desk in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
The country's favorable geographic location provides it to have around 48,000 MW of feasible wind energy potential in capacity, according to Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources figures.
"Turkey's installed capacity in wind energy has surpassed 7,600 MW with 3,500 turbines today," Yildirim said, adding "We need to use domestic resources to carry Turkey's renewable energy potential to high levels."
He noted that Turkey's installed capacity in wind energy averaged 1,300-1,400 MW in 2016, adding "However, that level decreased to 495 MW in 2018, and 450 MW in 2019. Those figures are not acceptable. We have to take off those numbers to around 1,000 MW every year. We have to recreate the same excitement that was felt in wind energy a decade ago."
- Most of wind turbine components manufactured in Turkey
Yildirim said investors in the wind sector, both domestic and foreign, have two main expectations in the industry.
"First, they want to foresee the potential in Turkey. They want to reach their projected cash flow. The second thing investors want is to see their projects to be supported financially, as banks pay close attention to," he said.
"The biggest expectation for domestic and foreign investors in the wind sector is that they want to be able to foresee the next 10 years," the TWEA President underlined.
Companies that manufacture components for wind turbines are also considered as investors, according to Yildirim, who said manufacturers also want to foresee the next decade in the wind industry.
He underlined that banks do not have any concerns today to invest in renewable energy in Turkey, which wind energy has a major part in. "Today, banks and investment firms love renewable energy, because it's a field that affects global economy and will shape the next 15 years."
Stressing that capability to design, construct and manufacture versus selling wind turbines are different aspects; Yildirim noted that design to mass production costs total around €200 million.
"We have started to manufacture most of the components of wind turbines in Turkey," he said, adding only a small portion of wind turbine components used in Turkey are imported from abroad and that enables the capital to stay in Turkish economy.
The head of TWEA said there are still innovations in wind power technology to lower costs, noting that cost of production for one megawatthour of electricity fell to $55 for wind, $45 for solar, and $75 for natural gas.
- Wind conference next month
Since TWEA was established in 1992, the non-profit association focuses on being inclusive, Yildirim said, and added "You need different ideas to form a shared wisdom, and turn them into reality."
"As an association, we give upmost importance to coordination and integration. We consult with our partners, develop common ideas and put them into motion together," he said.
Yildirim said the upcoming Turkish Wind Energy Conference (TWEC) next month will be attended by more than 100 participants in the wind energy sector.
He concluded that the 8th TWEC, which will be held on Nov. 5-6 in Turkish capital Ankara, will be attended by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez and Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank.
By Ovunc Kutlu