Licensed versus Unlicensed solar PV market segment (sector) in Turkey
This year (2015) seems to be quite important for the further development of the solar PV market in Turkey. It is clear that the energy dependence of the country is high and the Turkish government would like to diminish it as much as possible and as soon as possible in the next years. This is one of the reasons that many investors have been waiting with interest since a few years establishment of Turkish Solar PV market. They originated starting from local Turkish investors to Western Europe through the USA and Asia. Expectations for positive development and sizeable growth of Turkish solar PV market have sharply increased since 2013 due to the number of reasons.
One of the most important questions, which concern all participants in Turkish solar PV market, is:
Which market segment (licensed or unlicensed) will drive the market growth in 2015 and beyond?
Of course, the simple answer to this question is difficult to give. With this article, we have only tried to address in brief the issue of how best to identify, which is the most suitable solution for potential investors: licensed or unlicensed solar PV market segment in Turkey.
On the one hand, the licensed market segment is a more sustainable, stable and predictable way of any PV market development. Projected licensed photovoltaic power plants could be integrated into the national power and grid system without significant surprises and imbalances because their power production has been initially well calculated and assumed in the licensing and permitting process. On the other hand, issuing all necessary permits to start construction is very slow in Turkey at the moment. Improvements in this process are expected in 2015. Turkish administration has approved at the beginning of December 2014 construction of 2 licensed photovoltaic power plants with a total capacity of 13 MW. This fact is a positive signal for the development of a licensed market segment in the country.
Unlicensed market segment has the advantage that photovoltaic power projects under 1 MW could be easily developed and connected to the gird compared to licensed projects in any place in the country. At the moment the prevailing majority of cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity in Turkey belongs to unlicensed solar installations. However, this may lead to a concentration of many solar projects in the sunniest areas of Turkey or in the areas where government administration and DSO's are managing better with the permitting process. This finally could lead to the bubble of projects and imbalances into the national power and grid system. Many international investors at the moment treat unlicensed PV projects under 1 MW as potentially unsafe investment opportunities. However, unlicensed projects are preferred by a lot of local Turkish developers.
Nevertheless, which market PV market segment selects any market participant in Turkey, the common understanding for both market segments is that they represent stable, well-functioning and attractive solar PV market in the country to local and international investors.
More information about this promising solar market you may read here: Turkey Photovoltaic Market Outlook 2015 - 2025