Star – The prospect of generating power from renewable sources in place of hydrocarbon fuels is getting stronger in Turkey as the rapidly growing country seeks to reduce its dependency on imported energy.
Being a highly attractive location for solar projects for its long sun exposure periods during the year, Turkey is expected to attract EUR 500 million of solar energy investments by 2015, according to an industry association.
“Renewed legislation favoring renewable energy investments has brought in a combined total of 8900 megawatt (MW) capacity in license applications.”, according to the head of Gunese Association, an organization of photovoltaics (PV) producers in Turkey. “There is immense potential in Turkey to harness solar energy. We expect investments in the field of solar power to reach EUR 500 million by 2015.”, said Mehmet Ozer , President of Gunese Association.
“Turkey is second only to Spain in Europe when it comes to solar exposure levels. The new legislation favors solar investments and cuts red tape a great deal..”, Ozer added.
Turkey’s energy market watchdog, Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA), received nearly 500 applications last month from investors to build solar power plants of up to 8900 MW of combined output, surpassing expectations both in applications and power generation capacity. EMRA will begin granting licenses in the first half of next year.
The country’s rising demand for energy and the extra incentives granted for using locally-manufactured equipment for power generation also tempted hardware producers to set up shop in Turkey. China Sunergy Co. (CSUN), a Chinese manufacturer of PV modules and cells, opened a factory in Istanbul last May, aiming to supply the domestic and surrounding markets.
The country aims to have 100,000 MW of installed capacity in 2023, a third of which will be generated using renewable energy sources.