Turkey: The New King of Solar?
As Turkey prepares to make a massive push toward solar, installers and solar panel manufacturers are gearing up for the Solar Turkey conference in October.
The country recently announced that it hopes to install 600 megawatts of solar. That’s not a fuzzy, hazy goal for the distant future, said Anna Watson, who is producing the Solar Turkey Conference.
She said the country will begin accepting project applications in June of 2013. “Between 2014 and 2015, significant projects will begin to emerge and contribute toward the 600MW target,” Watson writes in an email. “It is anticipated that project applications will far exceed this 600MW target, meaning that this might be revised to an even higher level.”
She said projects smaller than 500 kilowatts can be constructed without a license, but there are discussions about increasing that 2.5-megawatt projects. The growth is dramatic for a country that has only 10 megawatts of installed solar photovoltaics right now. However, Turkey does have a relationship with solar that should be easy to build from. There is more than 1.6 million megawatts of solar thermal hot water generation installed in the country, which makes it second only to China.
Watson said it’s not a stretch to believe the same could happen with solar photovoltaic power, which makes Turkey an interesting place for international solar companies to look for the next emerging solar market. “There are incentives for local manufactures, but indigenous PV manufacturing is yet to take a foot hold in the market.”
Turkey enacted a feed-in-tariff in 2011, which spurred some minor growth. “However the industry was disappointed that this was quite low, at just 13.3 US cents per kilowatt hour,” Watson writes. She said one of the primary motivators for solar adoption will be rapidly rising costs for imported fossil fuels.
Watson said most of the industry growth will be focused on the solar photovoltaic market as there is not direct normal irradiation to justify concentrated solar power installation. But the outlook for the PV market in Turkey is exceedingly strong.
“PV is being utilized at residential, commercial and utility scales, with predictions that the Turkish PV market could potentially hit the 6 GW mark in cumulative installations by 2020.,” Watson writes.
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