Turkey hits 5 GW of registered PV capacity


Turkey’s cumulative registered PV capacity has reached 5 GW (AC) as of the end of November 2018, according to new statistics published by the country’s state owned grid operator, TEIAŞ.

According to these figures, in the first eleven months of this year another 1,581 MW of PV systems were registered by the grid operator, of which 1,518 MW for unlicensed solar projects not exceeding in size 1 MW and around 63 MW for licensed larger projects being built under the country’s auction scheme.

Most of this capacity was registered in the first quarter of this year, when 1,170 MW of new projects were included in TEIAŞ’s official statistics. In November, newly registered PV capacity came in at 78.8 MW.

Overall, unlicensed small solar parks still account for the vast majority of Turkey's total cumulative PV capacity with around 4.92 GW, while solar parks with a capacity over 1 MW account for only 81.7 MW.

Not all of the 5 GW of cumulative capacity, however, is likely to have been connected to the Turkish grid. Indeed, the grid operator's own figures have been questioned by several experts in the Turkish solar energy sector over the past months, with some of them claiming  that some projects may simply have been registered for grid-connection and not installed.

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TEIAŞ and Günder, the Turkish solar industry association, counter that the 5 GW represents operational solar arrays.

Günder recently released a new Solar Energy Map, which predicts a cumulative solar PV capacity in Turkey of around 14 GW could be achieved in 2023.  Another report, from Turkey’s Shura Energy Transition Center, predicts that solar capacity will reach 30 GW of installed capacity at the halfway point of the next decade.

The Turkish market has seen large volumes of installations over the past two years, due to the decreasing costs of the PV technology and to the above-mentioned unlicensed PV project segment. Unlicensed projects in Turkey are theoretically not meant to exceed 1 MW in capacity. However, multiple projects of 1 MW in size can be combined into larger solar parks – consisting many multiples of 1 MW sub-arrays.

Increased activity in the Turkish licensed projects segment is expected. Licensed projects are awarded under a tender programs.  A new 1 GW tender was launched in October, and the first projects awarded under previous rounds tenders are beginning to come online.

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