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Can Turkey be the World’s Next Solar Superpower?

 

Power of the sun in Turkey

The Sun is definitely shining in Turkey as the nation’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) started granting applications for 600 megawatts (MW) of solar energy across the country in mid-June.  Distinct from plans to encourage smaller scale production of distributed energy, this plan only helps finance projects greater than 1 MW in size.

What’s in it for them?

According to Dan Appleyard of Renewable Energy World, accepted projects will be members of a feed-in tariff (FIT) program ensuring them a minimum of US$133/MWh produced.  There will also be a slew of other provisions to support domestic manufacturing and the FIT can reach as much as $200/MWh in photovoltaic (PV) plants and $225/MWh in concentrating solar plants (CSP).

These rates seem to be more than enough to convince developers to apply for the FIT program because although only 600 MW of capacity will be eligible for the scheme, almost 9 gigawatts (GW) or the equivalent of 9,000 MW of solar power were solicited for permits!

These applicants were very committed, as to even apply for the FIT was an arduous process lasting over a year and requiring the navigation of tight bureaucratic channels, such as the Turkish Directorate of Meteorology, to receive permission for a solar radiation analysis of a proposed site.

Levels of solar irradiance in Turkey

In spite of the rigidity of the rules, solar developers were granted the freedom to choose either solar PV technology or CSP technology.  PV technology is far more common and we see every it everyday as solar panels on our homes and buildings.   CSP on the other hand, requires a giant array of mirrors or lenses to focus sunlight onto a small area, to eventually generate electricity.

What’s in store?

By 2023, the 600 MW FIT limit is slated to increase to 3 GW, vastly increasing the amount of licensed producers of clean, solar energy.  This is not to be unexpected, however, because Turkey’s electricity demand is growing at a rate of approximately 8% per year, and the country is desperately trying to wean itself off of its fossil fuel-dependent electricity grid.

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Jeremy is a Fellow at Mosaic working primarily with search engine optimization (SEO) and writing awesome copy, but he also contributes to all areas of the blog as well.  Before coming to Mosaic, Jeremy explored, meandered and survived many countries in Europe while teaching English to make ends meet.  Before that he founded a lacrosse camp on Long Island where he developed his passion for startups.  When not working, Jeremy can typically be found attempting to be active and healthy, unless he’s sitting on the couch watching his beloved Miami Dolphins play on TV.

Twitter: @mr_JeremyG

 

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