Turkish PV gathers pace, adds 150 MW in 2015

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Turkey added 830.75 MW of new solar PV and wind capacity in 2015, according to data published by the country’s ministry of energy and natural resources.

The report does not specify how much PV and wind power was installed separately. It adds, though, that Turkey added a further 2,229.46 MW of hydro capacity, 268.92 MW of geothermal, biomass and waste power plants and 958.43 MW of thermal plants.

Nevertheless, a spokesperson for the Turkish Solar Energy Society (Solarbaba) told pv magazine that “at the end of 2015, the cumulative capacity of PV was 248 MW and currently it is 294 MW.” Given Turkey’s total photovoltaic power capacity in the beginning of 2015 was around 100 MW, the country added about 150 MW last year. Even more impressive is the pace of new installations added in 2016.

Solarbaba’s spokesman added that “at the end of 2016 we expect to reach around 800 to 900 MW [of solar PV], with a low probability of also 1 GW.”

The news does not come as a surprise. Turkey completed in April 2015 a tender of 600 MW of new large-scale solar PV plants. Furthermore, new installations are added through the unlicensed segment of the solar market, which refers to projects smaller than 1 MW each. Contrary to what the name perhaps hints, the so-called unlicensed projects also need a couple of permits, one of them being grid permission.

Compared to the very low 78 MW of new PV installations in 2014, the latest developments sound positive. However, market stakeholders are questioning what is going to happen after the installation of the 600 MW tendered capacity. Turkey has yet to announce a new round of PV tenders, while its energy situations remains as acute as ever.

Wind power rules

The Turkish wind sector, on the other hand, appears to enjoy steady political favoritism. At the end of 2015, Turkey had installed a total 4.694 GW of wind power, while in 2015 alone the country added 956 MW of wind, up from 804 MW in 2014, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). EWEA’s figure for 2015 is in contrast with the Turkish ministry of energy and natural resources data, and perhaps needs to be lowered. It still clearly indicates the success of the wind sector in the country, however.

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