Turkey will rank fifth in Europe for increasing its renewable power capacity, which is forecast to add 22.2 gigawatts (GW) by 2025 to reach 66.8 GW, according to International Energy Agency (IEA) data compiled by Anadolu Agency.
The country's total installed renewable energy capacity stood at 44.6 GW at the end of 2019. Out of this total, hydropower generated 28.5 GW, while wind produced 7.58 GW and solar 6 GW. Geothermal, bioenergy and other sources accounted for the remaining 2.52 GW.
Turkey's renewable energy capacity started to markedly increase after 2008 when the total installed renewable energy capacity was 14.3 GW.
The IEA forecasts this trend will continue at significant speed.
By the end of this year, renewable power in Turkey will reach 47.3 GW with an increase of around 1.1 GW of hydropower and almost 900 megawatts (MW) of wind power.
"We observed that even during the hardest times of COVID-19, wind energy projects have not stopped in Turkey," IEA Senior Energy Analyst Heymi Bahar told Anadolu Agency.
He explained that Turkey's Renewable Energy Support Scheme (YEKDEM), which was due to expire at the end of the year, spurred investors on to complete their projects by the year-end.
Projects under the scheme have a 10-year guarantee of purchase that varies depending on the type of renewable energy resource used.
The Turkish government agreed to extend the YEKDEM period until June 31, 2021, taking the Covid-19 pandemic into account.
According to Bahar, this extension created a new opportunity for investors who will now be able to run with their new projects up to June 31, ensuring that 1GW of wind capacity will come online next year.
He explained that although the future of the new renewable energy support scheme after June 31 remains uncertain, triggering potential project vacancies after this date, he expressed optimism over the growth in wind capacity up to 2025.
"Turkey now has the cheapest wind prices in the world. Considering the low prices and the potential, the capacity will definitely continue to increase," Bahar said.
Total wind power is estimated to increase by 146% to 12.8 GW compared to levels at the end of 2019.
-Solar in Turkey has a long way to go
Bahar said that solar is also a lucrative resource with massive projects planned and is forecast to see the fastest growth in Turkey by 2025, increasing by 280% to 16.8 GW.
The mini Renewable Energy Resource Zones (YEKA) tenders support this growth.
"This year is kind of a transition period for solar in Turkey and we expect around 600 megawatts capacity to be online by the end of this year. However, with the YEKA tenders, the solar sector will be very dynamic adding 1 GW next year," Bahar said.
Turkey will receive applications for mini YEKA solar tenders in January 2021 when the exact tender dates will be announced. Under these tenders, 1 GW of capacity will be generated in 36 regions across the country.
“Solar has an open and long way to go in Turkey in the coming years with solar price tenders becoming quite competitive relative to Europe in the last few years," he said.
According to the IEA, together with the capacity growths in hydropower, bioenergy and geothermal, Turkey's total installed capacity is due to increase by 50% by 2025 with 22.8 GW of additions.
These additions will make Turkey the fifth most capacity increasing country in Europe and 12th in the world.
Bahar’s renewable energy expectations have been supported by a Renewables 2020 report published this week, which said that renewables globally grew at a record pace this year despite COVID-19. It also forecasts that net additional renewable energy capacity would continue to increase even during the second wave of the pandemic.
"Investors have a really high appetite for renewables," he concluded.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya