Strong growth for PV in Turkey expected

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Parque solar en la zona industrial de Kayseri, Turquía con una potencia total de 18 MW. Foto cortesía de Efektiv Enerji / Solar park at the industrial zone in Kayseri, Turkey with a final capacity of 18 MW. Photo courtesy of Efektiv Enerji

Analysts and industry representatives are expecting strong growth in PV in Turkey. “The market has the potential this year to reach the 500 MW expansion mark,” says Josefin Berg, an analyst at consulting firm IHS. In 2016 and 2017, an increased number of large-scale PV projects with more than one MW capacity are expected to receive approval and will then be carried out. The first instalment for the licensed large-scale PV plants is 600 MW.

First Solar for example has secured interconnection rights for three planned PV plants in southern Turkey. The projects with a combined capacity of 19 MW will be developed in the Muğla, Burdur, and Urfa provinces. When complete, the plants will produce an estimated 31.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, sufficient to power an estimated 14,000 average homes in the country “First Solar sees a tremendous amount of potential in Turkey,” Evren Evcit, First Solar’s Head of Business Development for Turkey says.

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German based mounting systems specialist Schletter also expressed optimism. Currently, the company is manufacturing for local EPC’s and investors, for example two tracker projects, one with a size of 11.5 MW in Kayseri, Anatolia, and a 5-MW project in Isparta. “In addition, we are currently building and delivering permanently elevated open-area installations with about 20 MW in Mersin, Isparta and other regions,” Taner Öztürk of Schletter Solar Montaj Sistemleri Türkiyesays. He is expecting the expansion of the PV market in Turkey to level off at approximately 1 GW annually. The demand for roof-mounted systems is also set to increase in 2016.

IBC Solar expressed similar optimism. “The installed PV capacity being targeted in 2016 is between 800 and 900 MW, and we are looking to achieve a market share of ten per cent of that. We currently have good chances of achieving this goal,” said Bulent Yildiz, managing director of IBC Solar Türkiye. The taxation of imported modules, which came into effect in Turkey in December, does not affect the project business in most cases. The investors can apply for a VAT exemption for import modules as well. The projects that are affected are smaller ones, for which an application for VAT would have been too much work. The Turkish government is clearly pursuing the goal of encouraging the use of locally-produced modules in this segment. The current total capacity of Turkish module manufacturers is approximately 300 MW.

Can Sözen, head of the Turkish system provider Zenit Enerji in Izmir is expecting PV business of up to 100 MW in 2016. “We see also more and more engagement from local municipalities and universities for solar electricity”, Sözen says. For example Inönü University Turgut Özal Medical Center operates a 5,3 MW solar power plant since last year, the biggest PV-plant so far at a Turkish university. The project just was awarded the prestigious ICCI Energy Award in the solar power category.

ICCI 2016, 22nd International Energy and Environment Fair and Conference, will take place from 27 to 29 April at Expo Center in Istanbul and is considered to be the most important energy event in Turkey and the region. More than 340 exhibitors and 16,000 visitors are expected. By hosting a special forum for solar energy at the ICCI, we intend to provide a platform for investors and the industry to promote the development of photovoltaic potential in Turkey”, says Murat Özer, deputy general director of Hannover Fairs Turkey.