Renewables

Turkey adds 1.3 GW in solar power capacity in April alone

Turkey adds 1 3 GW solar power capacity April alone

Photo: Alfred Grupstra from Pixabay

Published

May 17, 2024

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Published:

May 17, 2024

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Photovoltaic capacity in Turkey reached 13.9 GW by the end of last month or a stunning 1.3 GW more than on March 31. Industrial producers installing solar power plants for their own needs are driving the surge.

The simplification of the legal framework in Turkey and the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) motivated companies to build photovoltaic facilities for self-consumption. Moreover, the government has allowed them to sell surplus electricity up to the equivalent of their consumption, effectively doubling the optimal capacity.

Turkish Electricity Transmission Corp. (TEİAŞ) said the country’s total solar power capacity hit 13.9 gigawatts at the end of April, Anadolu Agency reported. The monthly increase landed at 1.3 GW, an all-time high!

Secretary General of Turkish Solar Energy Industry Association (GENSED) Hakan Erkan attributed the acceleration to so-called unlicensed photovoltaic plants. The category, comprising facilities that legal entities build for their own needs, actually makes up more than three quarters of overall capacity.

Factory operators are building self-consumption solar parks of 500 MW each

A few years ago Turkey abolished the 5 MW cap per company. Erkan said applications have been approved for solar parks of as much as 500 MW and even more.

An additional boost came last August. Prosumers were allowed to consume electricity from their plants located in different power distribution zones.

GENSED’s chief highlighted the push by manufacturers that export their goods to secure an exemption from the EU’s CBAM carbon border tax, by lowering their emissions with solar power self-consumption. The levy will be charged from the beginning of 2026.

Hybrid plants, floating PV, municipal units fueling solar power boom

Turkey has a 32.9 GW solar power goal for 2030, rising to 52.9 GW for 2035. Last year the level jumped 1.87 GW to 11.29 GW, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. In comparison, at that moment Western Balkan countries hosted a combined 1.03 GW in photovoltaics, according to the statistics.

Excluding Turkey, the entire region tracked by Balkan Green Energy News had just over 15 GW at the end of 2023. Greece accounted for 7.03 GW, IRENA’s report showed.

Notably, Ember recently quoted TEİAŞ’s data showing that Turkey’s total solar power capacity was 11.7 GW, with another 510 MW installed within hybrid power plants. They are calculated separately.

Hybrid facilities will play an important role in achieving the country’s targets, the think tank forecasted. It also pointed to the potential of floating solar power, popularly known as floatovoltaics.

But it’s not just the industrial producers that are fueling the PV boom in Turkey. For instance, dozens of local authorities went further than just setting up rooftop solar panels by turning to utility-scale ground-mounted photovoltaics for their own needs. Mayor of Trabzon Ahmet Metin Genç has just revealed the ambition to install a floating PV plant on a reservoir supplying the city with drinking water, the local media reported.

The surge in renewable electricity capacity in Turkey can be explained as well by the government’s obligatory quotas concerning the share of domestic equipment and workers, together with subsidies for manufacturers.

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