EMRA, Turkey’s energy regulator, granted a 49-year solar generation license to Solentegre Enerji Yatırımları in late 2015, for an 8 MW facility to be installed in the eastern province of Elazığ.
The licence was granted upon a bidding process held by the regulator. The winning company bid was for TL 827,000 (equivalent of US$280,000) per MW for the license.
Turkey received a number of tenders in 2014 and 2015, when interest from developers was very high, with a total of 9 GW of solar projects being proposed for the 600 MW of tendered capacity that is the national cap as it is set by Turkey’s energy strategy.
However, last year Turkish policy makers set a target of 5 GW of solar capacity by 2023 by adopting the country’s first Renewable Energy Action Plan, leaving the door open for new tenders in the foreseeable future.
Turkey pays $133 USD/MWh feed-in tariff to solar developers which can be characterized as modest when compared to the feed in tariff schemes that exist in Europe, however this is still a significant amount in hard currency (US dollars). The feed in tariff is available for 10 years for projects that commence operations by December 31, 2020. In the case of developers using components produced in Turkey, there is an incremental tariff of up to $67 USD/MWh.
This incentive for domestically produced components also includes other renewable energy generators apart from solar. Extra payments exist for using domestically manufactured turbines, blades and generators used in hydro, wind, biomass and geothermal power projects.
Turkey is a country with a tremendous renewable energy capacity and more can be done to exploit it. Turkey has an average annual total sunshine duration of 2,640 hours (a total of 7.2 hours per day), giving Turkey the second place in Europe after Spain.
Given the fact that Turkey is largely dependent on oil (91%) and natural gas (99%) imports to fuel its growing power generation needs, and the recent fall out with Russia, Turkeys most important energy partner, the country needs to diversity its energy sources and exploit to its full potential its own renewable energy sources; to which the recent solar licenses should hopefully be a step towards.