Zaman - Local and foreign investors began filing applications to Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) yesterday to build photovoltaic power plants of up to 600 megawatt (MW) capacity, the first step towards harnessing the country’s considerable solar energy potential.
The regulative body received solar energy projects that amount to 1,000 MWs of capacity on the first day alone, filling the daily quota. EMRA will accept license applications to produce electricity from solar energy until June 14.
The strong interest is expected to continue to reach 6,000-7,000 MWs by the deadline, which in turn may necessitate a tender process to grant investors a license to build and operate photovoltaic power plants in certain locations. Since the launch of the application process in May 2012, potential investors have been conducting site selection and feasibility studies and measuring solar radiation levels in 510 different locations throughout Turkey. EMRA will begin granting licenses in the first half of next year.
Turkey’s advantageous geographical position exposes large portions of the country’s territory to sunlight during most of the year. With 2,640 hours of insolation per year and 380 terawatt hours of output potential, the country is the most promising country in Europe in terms of solar energy potential.
Turkey’s Renewable Energy Law, in effect since the beginning of 2011, especially favors investors with projects that use solar panels and other related equipment that is locally produced.