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Turkey’s First Round of Licensing to Change Market Dynamics for Solar Photovoltaic

Electricity consumption in Turkey has increased by 8% annually over the last 10 years due to high economic growth. Turkey had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $786 billion in 2012 and annual GDP growth of 2.2% in the same year. Thermal power dominates the power market with more than 75% of installed capacity, while renewables account for just 24.2%, with hydropower making up 21.31% of the total. Wind contributes 2.46% and solar Photovoltaic (PV) contributes the least with 0.01%. Nuclear power in Turkey is expected to begin in the near future, and the government plans to generate 30% of its electricity through renewable sources by 2023 (TPQ, 2012).

Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) is taking the first step to address the country’s considerable solar energy potential by starting the first round of licensing for solar PV projects that have a capacity greater than or equal to 1 Megawatt (MW). A total capacity of 600 MW of solar power plants will be developed in the first round. Solar PV projects under 1 MW are not required to obtain a production license from EMRA, which is why 70 MW of capacity is projected to be added in 2013.

Between June 10, 2013 and June 14, 2013, local and foreign companies filed applications to build solar PV power plants of up to 600 MW capacity. Over the same period, EMRA received 492 applications with a total capacity of 8,900 MW. Some of the prominent bidders include Turkey’s leading energy players, such as RES Anatolia, Gural Porcelain, Fiba, Enerjisa, Zorlu, Aksa, Calik, Bereket, and Boydak.

The first round has limited capacity in the 25 regions previously announced by the Ministry of Energy due to technical constraints in terms of the number of plant connection points.

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