Renewables

Turkey to enable wind, solar power projects on lakes

Turkey enable wind solar power projects lakes

Photo: Wzhkevin / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode.en

Published

February 5, 2024

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Published:

February 5, 2024

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The Grand National Assembly of Turkey is about to vote on a proposition to open lakes, reservoirs and seas for solar and wind power projects. The legislation, covering a range of energy sectors, is particularly aimed at regulating floating photovoltaics. An industry representative estimated that covering one tenth of domestic lakes can add a stunning 80 GW of capacity.

The relevant parliamentary commission passed a bill amending the rules across the energy sector in Turkey. One of the most important elements concerns renewable electricity plants on water.

Investors would be able to set up wind and solar power facilities on seas, reservoirs and natural lakes designated within the Renewable Energy Resources Area (YEKA) mechanism for auctions for power purchase agreements (PPAs), without zoning plans required. The proposition excludes maritime areas covered by the Coastal Law and the lakes used as sources of drinking water.

The authorities earlier selected the first four maritime YEKA zones for offshore wind power.

Lake Van seen as primary target

The domestic media speculated that the bill was launched particularly to enable the installation of floating solar power plants on the Van, Turkey’s largest lake. Unnamed sources claimed the move is aimed at facilitating investments from Arab countries.

The surface of Lake Van is at 1,640 meters above sea level. Solar panels heat up more quickly at lower altitudes, which affects efficiency.

Investors would need a water use permit in line with the Electricity Market Law. Also, power plants on lakes can be established for irrigation purposes by the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI) and irrigation unions, according to the bill, which the Grand National Assembly should vote on.

Erkan: Floating photovoltaics to cost USD 700,000 per MW

Secretary General of the Solar Energy Industrialists and Industry Association (GENSED) Hakan Erkan told state-controlled Anadolu Agency that 80 GW can be added to the country’s electricity system by covering 10% of all available lakes and ponds with floating solar panels, popularly known as floatovoltaics.

He estimated the costs at USD 700,000 per MW and noted that a few pilot projects have been conducted in Turkey so far.

In comparison, total electricity capacity reached almost 107 GW at the end of last year, of which solar power accounted for 10.6%.

Among other proposed amendments, so-called unlicensed renewable electricity plants, ones for self-supply, can enter the market after ten years of operation. Their operators, prosumers, will need to pay certain fees to change the status. The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources would support energy efficiency projects at up to 30% of their costs in the form of grants and subsidized interest rates. The bill also regulates aspects of the mining and liquefied natural gas (LNG) sectors.

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