Turkey has reached a critical point in its journey to renewable energy, scoring new highs in hydroelectricity and solar investments, with the trend continuing on. Upward trajectory, according to Ceyhan Saldanli, CEO of Aydem Enerji. “There is also government support. However, renewable energy needs to be further strengthened. You don’t leave waste when you generate electricity from wind, water and solar power plants. The problem is, it cannot be stored and is not always available,” he says.
Therefore, resource diversity should be a priority in order to increase the availability and production times of renewable power plants, meaning building hybrid power plants. “If the wind blows 3,000 hours a year, when you put the sun next to it, you add 1,500-2,000 hours, and you reach 4,500-5,000 hours. When you add another renewable resource, such as hydroelectric, you are approaching the base plant,” says CEO of Aydem Enerji, which is also preparing for hybrid investments.
FUNDING AND PROJECTS ARE READY
Saldanli stated that both financial resources and projects are ready for the company’s hybrid investments. “We are targeting approximately 1,000 MW of new investments in the coming period. Three-quarters will be in hybrid investments, and the rest in the form of new investments and capacity expansion. Their distribution may change after the permits are finalized.”
“Legislation is mostly okay,” Saldanli added. “There may be some problems in the application, but I think they will be fixed in time. For example, when permission is requested for adding a solar connection to wind farm already in operation under the condition that it does not exceed the current connection power, it can be taken as a new power plant. However, with the additional source, you only feed the existing connection for more hours, that is, for a longer period of time.” When asked about the financial debt of Aydem Group, which recently went into debt restructuring, Saldanli said that it is yesterday’s problem and over. “We passed those days. Now we are looking for new investments in an effort to be beneficial for the country again. We are galloping ahead,” he said.
ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION TO GO PUBLIC
Aydem Enerji, which recently opened its renewable energy generation portfolio to the public, now aims to put the stocks of electricity distribution and retail companies on sale at Borsa Istanbul. It will be the company’s most important agenda item as soon as the circumstances allow. “Energy sector management on the government side also promotes the public offering of the electricity distribution sector. We, as a company, support it because the participation of the public in capital is valuable in Turkey. It is something that supports corporate governance and ensures the full distribution of capital.”
‘The number of patents in energy are increasing’
Aydem Enerji CEO Ceyhan Saldanli stated that Turkey has come a long way in the development of energy technologies and equipment production, although it is not sufficient. “It used to be very bad. Now there is progress, albeit not very good. There are serious increases in the know-how, number of patents, and R&D expenditures compared to the past. It is pleasant but not enough. Things done for this will never be enough. It has to be renewed all the time.”
‘Everyone should have a sustainability report card’
Saldanli: “We have to bring climate change and carbon emissions into people’s lives and touch people directly. You put targets but people do not show enough effort to meet them. The only thing we suggest to them is to use renewable energy, to pay more bills, which does not appeal to them. To solve this, every person should have a report card, giving them a grade on their environmental actions, whether they ride a bike or motorbike, how many flights they make per year, etc. People should be given discounts on the goods and services they buy, according to this report card. And people need to improve their grades every year to make their lives easier, to earn a profit… Governments should also cut taxes. This needs to be announced, voluntary associations should be established and cooperation between countries should be established. Otherwise, it cannot go beyond being a romantic longing.”