EBRD investment marks further commitment to Turkish renewables

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As international investors return their focus to large scale, “licenced” PV projects in Turkey, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has taken the unusual step of becoming a shareholder in a Turkish power producer.

The EBRD has already played a significant role in the adoption of clean energy in Turkey and helped the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources draw up its plan to install 27 GW of non hydro renewable generation capacity by 2023.

The European development lender also provided $101.5 million of the $363 million secured by dominant Turkish renewables player Akfen Holding last year to finance 327 MW of new clean energy capacity in its homeland, including seven large scale PV projects and two “unlicenced” facilities – projects with up to 1 MW generation capacity or aggregated into larger solar farms.

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The EBRD on Wednesday announced it has renewed its renewables push in Turkey by investing $100 million in shares in the Ictas Surdurulebilir Enerji Yatirimlari clean energy arm of Turkish construction and power conglomerate IC Energy Holding. Neither party disclosed the size of the stake the EBRD investment had secured in the target company.

The EBRD said the cash would enable IC Ictas Energy, which currently holds a 400 MW hydro power portfolio, to develop 250 MW of new solar and wind power capacity in Turkey as well as privatizing some of its hydro assets. The bank did not reveal how much of the new renewables capacity would be solar.

Turkey has already surpassed the 5 GW of solar it was aiming for as part of the renewables ambition drawn up with the aid of the EBRD, mostly in the form of smaller projects.

With no fresh permits being issued for such unlicenced schemes, however, attention has returned to the 520 MW or so of large scale capacity projects that were tendered in 2014 and 2015 but have yet to be realized.