Two thirds of the commissioned power plant capacity in Turkey in the first three quarters was in hydropower units while the total share of renewables was 99.6%. Wind power plant production reached a record 151.4 GWh on November 6.
The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources in Ankara said 1.93 GW in power plants was added to the grid in the first nine months of the year, boosting the total to 93.21 GW. Official data showed a stunning 99.6% of the new capacity in Turkey was from renewables.
New hydroelectric power plants had the lion’s share – 66.6% while wind power accounted for 25.6%, leaving 4.6% for solar power plants. The category of bioenergy, waste heat and geothermal units made up 3.1% of the commissioned capacity. The remaining 0.4% or 8.6 MW was a cogeneration facility.
In the same period of last year, thermal power plants accounted for nearly half of the size of new power generation units.
Renewables expansion in Turkey fueled by incentives
Minister Fatih Dönmez said the actual share of new renewables so far in 2020 was 98%, presumably including units that were commissioned since September. He compared it to the 61.2% registered for entire last year. Dönmez added that Turkey achieved its record daily output from wind power plants on November 6, with 151.4 GWh.
The government pays incentives for plants using renewable sources alongside other tools and organizes auctions. The biggest single-site project in the segment is the 1 GW Karapınar photovoltaic plant, currently under construction. In August, Kalyon opened its integrated solar cell factory, which is included in the umbrella project, worth USD 1.4 billion and also supported by the state.
Government still leans on massive coal plans
According to Climate Transparency, Turkey could secure its energy independence goal with renewables instead of coal, with additional public health benefits. The organization noted costs for wind and solar energy have been in rapid decline.
It pointed to the decrease in total targeted renewable energy capacity to 57 GW from 61 GW in the country’s latest four-year energy strategy, through 2023.
“The increased 2023 target for the share of renewable energy generation in the power mix of 39%, set in 2019, has already been surpassed, with it reaching 44% in 2019. This milestone was primarily achieved, however, due to low overall demand rather than recent additions to the grid, with solar and wind generation prioritized due to its low cost,” the report said.
Turkey ranked only behind China in the whole world as of July in plans for new coal capacity: 32 GW. The country experienced strong economic growth rates in the past years, boosting the demand for electricity.
Tech advances may more than double onshore wind potential
In other news, General Manager at Borusan EnBW Enerji Mehmet Acarla claimed Turkey’s onshore wind potential, currently estimated at 48 GW, actually grew to 100 GW if recent technology improvement is taken into account. He added the solar power segment should also be updated.
Borusan EnBW is about to finish the expansion of its Kıyıköy wind power plant to 100 MW from 28 MW by the end of the year, the company’s chief asserted. The facility is located in Turkey’s European part. Acarla also revealed the construction of the Saros wind park, with the capacity of 138 MW, is scheduled to be completed in January. The unit is near Çanakkale, port and city on the Dardanelles Strait.