Turkey's renewable power capacity is forecast to grow by 53%, or 26 gigawatts, between 2021 and 2026 with solar and wind accounting for 80% of the capacity increase, according to the International Energy Agency’s projection in its annual Renewable Market Report published this week.
The agency sees growth in renewables in Turkey shifting from hydropower to low-cost solar PV and wind.
Hydropower has currently the largest renewable share capacity at almost 31.5 gigawatts, making up 30% of the country’s total installed capacity which stood at 99.05 gigawatts at the end of October 2021, according to the Turkish Electricity Transmission Company.
Wind is the second-largest renewable source in Turkey with around 10.3 gigawatts while solar follows with 7.6 gigawatts.
Along with other renewable installations, Turkey’s renewable capacity totals 52.5 gigawatts.
“We expect around 48% of the capacity additions in Turkey during the 2021-2026 period to come from solar, with wind accounting for 30% of the capacity increase in the main case. Hydropower will create 14% of this growth while biofuels and geothermal make up the rest,” Heymi Bahar, lead author of the report and senior analyst at the IEA told Anadolu Agency.
He noted that capacity increase trends in Turkey are similar to that of global growth.
The IEA forecasts 290 gigawatts of capacity additions this year, setting a fresh record.
By 2026, the agency predicts global renewable electricity capacity will rise more than 60% from 2020 levels to over 4,800 gigawatts, with renewables set to account for almost 95% of the increase through 2026. Solar PV alone is expected to provide more than half of the growth.
Bahar said that project-based hydropower plants will account for the capacity increase in Turkey during this period.
Renewable Energy Resource Zone (YEKA) projects in Turkey will be the main drivers of growth in wind and solar, according to the report.
Wind additions are expected to slow significantly between 2022 and 2024 due to delayed auctions and project permitting timescales, leading to a reduced project pipeline. However, additions recover through to 2026, driven by additional wind auctions with higher capacity compared with historical levels.
“This capacity growth makes Turkey the fifth biggest in Europe and 12th in the world after Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands,” Bahar noted, adding that in the accelerated case scenario, growth could be higher.
According to the report, renewables growth is over 30% higher than in the main case scenario with solar PV having the largest uptake, thanks to higher auction volumes and faster project completion rates.
The agency noted in the report that improving financing conditions should facilitate additional capacity for both utility-scale and distributed solar PV projects.
Distributed solar PV additions in Turkey are faster than expected and are ensuring that Turkey is on track to reach its solar and target earlier than projected, he said.
Turkey’s nationally determined contributions in the Paris Agreement are to target 26 gigawatts of solar and wind by 2030, but according to the agency’s projection, the country is set to reach its wind target four years early and its solar target seven years early, although the country’s potential is much higher.
Turkey ratified the Paris Agreement on Oct. 7.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya