There is an urgent need for skilled workers to meet the needs of Turkey's expanding wind energy sector, Nordex Turkey's General Director Habib Babacan told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
The current labor force is not on track to meet the growing needs of the sector that has the potential to double the current workforce to 30,000 over the next 15 years, Babacan said.
However, to alleviate the skills shortage, Nordex has expanded its Technical Training Center in Turkey's western Izmir province, dubbed as 'the capital of wind', and which is home to 1,635 megawatts (MW) of installed wind capacity, employing nearly 5,000 people.
The training center was established in 2016 to train the company's own technical staff, instead of sending them to the company’s headquarters in Germany. Since its establishment, almost 3,000 people have been trained at the center and it has now become the biggest training center in Nordex’s global organization, Babacan said.
Nordex wants to promote the center not just for regional training but to expand its reach to support Nordex personnel internationally.
Its four large classrooms, simulation center in an area of 1,500 to 1,600 square meters with platforms to train at high altitudes has ensured it has become the biggest training center for the wind sector in the country.
- 'We want to attract more people to the industry'
Turkey's wind energy industry has seen exponential growth, thanks to Turkish companies that are not only meeting local power demand but are also exporting wind energy equipment, such as turbine blades and towers.
Babacan wants to see more people in this sector and he says the training center is the next port of call for graduates from Turkey’s reputable business high schools and universities to receive further training in turbine maintenance.
- Wind takes lion's share in Turkey's new electricity investments
Wind power plants accounted for over half, or 51.5%, of Turkey's additional electricity capacity of 1,268 megawatts during the January-April period of this year, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency.
Turkey's total installed electricity capacity exceeded 97,000 megawatts at the end of April 2021. Out of the total capacity, renewables contributed almost 51,000 megawatts.
In the first four months of this year, electricity capacity grew by 1,268 megawatts, with wind alone accounting for 652.3 megawatts out of this capacity.
The biggest wind power additions came from the provinces of Canakkale, Bursa, Balikesir, Kirklareli in the Marmara region, and Izmir, Aydın and Mugla in the Aegean region, along with Van and Hatay in the east.
With these installations, Turkey's total wind capacity reached over 9,500 megawatts.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu