Turkey’s electricity generation from solar power plants soared by 50%, the country’s energy and natural resources minister said on Tuesday, citing data from February 2020.
The share of solar power plants in Turkey's electricity production has increased by 3.7% since it came online in 2002, Fatih Donmez said during the annual meeting of Turkey's Renewable Energy Investors Association (GUYAD).
Solar energy sources constitute 7.1% of the country’s total installed capacity while installed power in solar energy reached 6,869 megawatts (MW) by the end of February this year.
The first two months of this year has already seen progress in this sector with solar generating some 24.3% of the 831 MW of installed power.
Turkey ranks third in Europe and ninth in the world in terms of added installed solar capacity since 2014, Donmez highlighted.
Its solar ambition is part of Turkey’s goal towards self-sufficiency in energy resources, utilizing domestically produced and renewable resources and developing technologies to support this drive.
Despite the negative effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, Donmez said that hopes for solar energy are high.
Citing the 2020 Energy Outlook Report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Donmez said solar energy has been declared the cheapest energy source in history, with at least a five-fold decline in solar energy costs compared to 10 years ago.
The country aims to increase its installed power by 10,000 MW in the following 10 years by conducting at least 1,000 megawatts of solar Renewable Energy Resource Zones (YEKA) tenders each year, Donmez said.
The energy minister expects an increase in the share of renewable energy in the next 10 years with the decline in solar energy costs from better efficiency and the development of technology.
Therefore, he called on individual and public investors to participate in Turkey’s energy production, which he said would be a source of income for households, businesses, industries, municipalities and public institutions.
"By 2030, the solar energy industry is estimated to grow by over 10%. Now we have entered a period in which solar [resources] will constitute the largest share in this growth. Substantial reduction of costs in the solar energy positively affects investment decisions for this area," he concluded.
By Sibel Morrow