Turkey, with its high solar energy potential, can exceed its goal of 5 gigawatts of solar energy installed capacity by 2023, president of the solar energy investors association said on Tuesday.
Birol Erguven, president of the newly-formed solar energy structure, Turkey's Solar Energy Investors Association (GUYAD) told Anadolu Agency in an interview that the association will approach solar energy in a holistic way, so other association members can overcome weaknesses in the country's solar energy sector to increase its share in the energy mix.
Taking a holistic approach to the issue of solar energy in Turkey, will ensure the country surpasses 5 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy capacity by 2023, Erguven said.
Two years ago Turkey announced its 2023 plan with the aim of having 34 GW of installed capacity from hydroelectricity, 20 GW in wind energy, 5 GW from solar energy and 1GW each from geothermal and bio-mass.
The new association has 17 energy companies' members that are operating in different fields of energy from distribution to wind energy both domestically and internationally, Erguven explained.
He urged more participation from the private sector in the recently launched initiative to promote clean energy. The Energy and Natural Ministry recently announced the Renewable Energy Resources Area Projects (YEKA) which foresees the creation of large-scale renewable energy regions by allocating both state-owned and private property to investors.
The first phase of the YEKA solar project will be realized in the Konya province of Turkey, with a 1 GW electricity generation facility as well as 500 megawatt solar panel production facility.
Erguven said that he foresees that GUYAD will play a more active role in the sector in line with the increased share in solar energy in renewable projects in Turkey in the coming period, thanks to projects like YEKA.
- High feed in tariff helps European clean energy deployment
He hailed the financial support mechanism in place in Europe to boost solar use and support clean energy sources, adding that the association will also work domestically to work on the feed in tariff and on regulations to boost Turkey's solar potential as much as possible.
"The financial mechanism was three or four times higher than in Turkey," he said.
-Africa offers solar energy opportunity
Members of GUYAD are not only interested in domestic solar energy investments but would also like to increase their investments in international projects mainly in Africa.
Commenting on Africa's energy needs and Turkey's contribution to the continent, he said that in Africa, Turkish contractor companies and investment companies are already working to increase electricity generation.
"Accessing electricity is a fundamental for Africa, and Turkey is known for its great contribution to these areas," he concluded.
By Gulsen Cagatay and Nuran Erkul