Current energy market situation
Turkey's energy demand was doubled between the years 2000–2010 and is expected to fourfold between the years 2000–2025. This rapid increase in demand is due to the high economic development rate in Turkey. The biggest growth area in recent years has been natural gas imported from Russia and Iran. In 1995, 20% of Turkey’s electricity needs were generated from natural gas. Today that has increased to 44%. It is a dependence that the Turkish government would like to diminish.
The target Turkey should meet by 2023 in terms of the share of RES-electricity in the gross final consumption of electricity of 30 % according to Electricity Energy Market and Supply Security Strategy Paper adopted in 2009 from Higher Board of Planning of the State Planning Organization. Turkey, which continues efforts to construct a nuclear power plant, aims to use 36,000 MW hydroelectric, 20,000 MW (20 GW) wind, 3,000 MW (3 GW) solar, 600 MW geothermal and 2,000 MW biomass energy by 2023.
Current photovoltaic market situation
Turkey is a very promising emerging market for photovoltaic energy investments amongst SEE countries, according to Turkey Photovoltaic Market Outlook 2014 - 2025. With the introduction of support mechanisms in the law in 2005 and the subsequent amendments in 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013, Turkish photovoltaic energy market is supposed to start growing in the next years. The country had insignificant cumulative photovoltaic installed capacity by the end of 2013. The much-anticipated decision of Turkish government from October 2013 to increase the eligibility criteria for payment under feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme of photovoltaic power plants from the capacity of up to 500 KW to capacity of up to 1 MW, and to remove any size limits about renewable power generation for self-consumption purposes is expected to create serious growth in the next years in so-called "unlicensed market segment".
The issues related to grid access to the local distribution or transmission network and timeline of the authorization process should not be neglected. Authorization processes must not only be streamlined, but they must enable plans to be successfully realized, bolstered by flexibility and an infrastructure that allows new photovoltaic power plants to be connected to the grid.
A feed-in tariff (FIT) for solar energy in Turkey
The Turkish feed-in tariff for photovoltaic now stands at USD cents 13.3 per kWh. The government offers additional incentives for local procurement if there is a domestic component in the manufacture of the photovoltaic equipment. Local involvement can increase the tariff with additional 6.7 USD cents per kWh, which will result in total USD cents 20 per kWh. Local procurement incentives apply for the first five years of operation of the photovoltaic power plants. Preferential rates are guaranteed for 10 years. In relation with local procurement incentives first factories for the production of photovoltaic modules of Anel Enerji, Atsco Solar and China Sunergy (CSUN) have been established, with new factories expected to follow them on the market in next 2 years.
The solar resource potential of Turkey
Turkey has very good solar resource potential as the geographical location is highly favourable for utilising solar energy. According to studies done by EIE, Turkey's average annual total sunshine is 2,640 hours (total daily 7.2 hours), average total radiation intensity 1,311 kWh / m²-year (daily total of 3.6 kWh / m²) has been identified with the help of Government Meteorology Affairs General Directorate (DMI)’s measured sunshine duration and radiation intensity between 1966-1982 years.
Profile of electricity consumption and production in the country
The industry is the key consumer of electricity for the country (metallurgy, chemical industry, energy and machine construction), followed by households and transportation industry. The Turkish economy is overall more energy-intensive than the economies of the countries in the EU. Total installed electrify generating capacity is approaching 53.7 GW at the end of 2012 and is growing at around 5% per year. Some 35% of that capacity is hydro. Coal accounts for 23%. Wind accounts for approximately 3 %, while photovoltaic accounts at the moment for less than 0.1 %. Interconnections with EU countries have improved, stabilizing the power system. More information about this promising market you may read here: Turkey Photovoltaic Market Outlook 2014 - 2025