Turkey took the first step towards developing ind energy in Izmir 23 years ago, according to Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez. Speaking at the Turkish Wind Energy Congress organized by the Turkish Wind Energy Association (TUREB), Donmez said the country’s first wind power plant (WPP) had an installed power of 1.5 megawatts (MW), but its symbolic meaning was far beyond a material investment. With it, Turkey encountered for the first time with a new form of energy and new technology.
The number of domestic and foreign companies operating in the sector totals 231, while 355 WPPs in service generate 30 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year. Turkey ranks 8th in Europe and 13th in the world in terms of the installed power of wind energy. The country meets nearly 10% of its electricity with wind energy, of which installed power has reached 10,500 MW. “We broke new records in production, exceeding 20% a few times. The wind blew especially hard this year,” the Energy and Natural Resources Minister noted.
Investments in the wind energy sector continue despite the COVID -19 pandemic. Turkey’s installed wind energy power, which stood at 7,591 MW has risen around by 3,000 MW within two years, exceeding 10,500 MW as of today. “Our investors’ investment appetite increases day by day. 63 WPPs with an installed power of 1,585 MW are under construction. We’ll further raise this figure with the new YEKA (Renewable Energy Resource Areas) competition in the near future,” Donmez added.
2,000 MW IN WPP AUCTIONS ON THE WAY
Turkey has held 4,000 MW in YEKA competitions to date, including 2,000 MW in wind energy and 2,000 MW in solar energy, according to Fatih Donmez. Another 2,000 MW in YEKA WPP3 competitions will be held in the near future. Applications for these competitions will be open until April 27, 2022. “Our competitions will be organized in 75 cities with a capacity for turbines ranging from 20 MW to 90 MW,” the energy minister noted.
Many small and medium size investors have been involved in the wind energy investment process as a result of smaller competitions called ‘Mini YEKA’. “It has been an important achievement, allowing renewable energy to spread out and new actors to penetrate the sector,” Donmez said.
65% LOCALIZATION RATE IN EQUIPMENT
Turkey exports wind energy equipment to 45 countries on six continents and companies operating in this field make 70-80% of their annual turnover from export revenues. Domestic wind energy equipment manufacturing is among the primary goals of the industry. 16 local manufacturers operate in the Turkish wind energy sector and the sector employs around 15,000 people. “Many pieces of equipment, such as rotor blades, wind turbine towers, components, and generator parts, are manufacturer in the country. Our sector has a 65% localization rate, one of the highest among energy industries,” Donmez said.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR RENEWABLES
The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources values renewables more high than ever before, according to Fatih Donmez. The Ministry also attaches more importance to carbon-neutral energy resources in order to build a sustainable future as both the world and Turkey fight against climate change. Almost all of the installed power put into operation since 2019 comes from renewable resources. “We’ve promoted the development of green energy with projects such as the Green Tariff and the Guarantee Certificate for Renewable Energy Resources (YEK- G). We’ve developed mechanisms to support and promote energy efficiency and have implemented legal regulations,” Donmez said.
A new ‘Green energy’: nuclear
Turkey will add a new carbon-neutral energy resource to its energy portfolio when the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant becomes operational in 2023, according to Donmez. He said green development is one of the most important goals of the country in coming years. “Renewables, nuclear energy, and energy efficiency will be the most important tools in our arsenal to fight against climate change. In Turkey, we prevented 73 million tons of greenhouse emissions in 2020 by using electricity that is generated from renewables,” Donmez noted.