Turkey to announce new tender for 1 GW of solar this summer


Turkish energy minister Berat Albayrak, who is also the son-in-law of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said last week that in mid-summer, the Ministry is set to launch a solar and wind tender for 1 GW of new capacity each.

The announcement was made last week at the CERAWeek 2017 event held by IHS Markit, in Houston, USA.

Albayrak’s presentation at the IHS Markit consultancy’s event in Houston, Texas gave an update on Turkey’s energy situation. Both positive and worrying signals emerged from the minister’s presentation.

Turkey’s solar PV

Regarding solar PV, the announcement of a new PV tender in mid-summer is a positive development.

pv magazine asked Turkey’s Solar Energy Society, Solarbaba whether they know about the new tender, but a Solarbaba spokesperson said he has not heard of a new 1 GW tender, neither had any of Solarbaba’s members.

Apart from the new tender, Turkey’s energy minister also told the CERAWeek event that for the next 10 years, Turkey aims for at least 10 GW of installed capacity each for solar PV and wind power technologies.

The latter gives some clues about Turkey’s energy plans. The AKP-led government has said before that 90% of the country’s electricity in 2023 will be equally provided by gas, coal and renewable energy plants (30 percent each), while nuclear power will provide the remaining 10 percent. Currently, natural gas provides more than half of Turkey’s electricity.

Furthermore, while Turkey’s overall installed power capacity today stands at around 80 GW, the government has said that it aims 180 GW of installed capacity by 2023.

Turkey’s solar PV target is 5 GW installed by 2023. To date it has installed about 1 GW of solar PV capacity.

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Therefore, even considering Albayrak’s new goal of 10 GW of solar PV in the next 10 years, Turkey’s solar PV aspirations are low.

The minister referred to the 1 GW PV plant in Konya, which he said “will have a 15-year purchase guarantee without any currency risk.”

Nuclear persistence

Many analysts have criticized Turkey’s energy policy for its persistence in coal, for which dozens of tenders are planned.

It is equally worrying that the country has embraced nuclear technology.

Albayrak told the conference in Houston that nuclear power will be key in the country’s energy mix, and that by 2023 the country will have its first operational nuclear reactor. A second reactor at a second plant will be launched around 2025, he added. Apparently, these are the nuclear plants in at Akkuyu on the Mediterranean coast and Sinop, on the Black Sea.

“Nuclear should be at least 10% of total electricity generation capacity,” the energy minister said.

It is striking that the international community has accepted Turkey’s nuclear power plans with little resistance. This is a country with huge terrorist problems, which furthermore often experiences large earthquakes. Nuclear plants in Turkey have the potential to be disastrous for its people and the whole region.

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