Turkey ranks seventh in the list of top destinations for foreign direct investments (FDI) in renewables, according to greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets' ranking of Top European Locations for Renewable Energy FDI 2020.
Turkey has taken several steps to improve its investment environment in the renewable energy sector over recent years especially through new legislation, by offering incentives to foreign investors and in the introduction of a new tender structure to expand locally produced equipment that is needed in the renewable sector, İzmir Development Agency's (İZKA) Secretary-General Mehmet Yavuz said.
In İZKA’s work to support and strengthen the clean energy sector by creating employment in the renewables sector throughout Turkey, İzmir has been the main area of focus, Yavuz told Anadolu Agency (AA) Wednesday.
"İzmir is at the forefront when it comes to wind energy and equipment production. It has become a center of attraction for foreign investors with its logistical and port facilities, qualified labor force and developed sub-industry," he said.
In addition to big international companies such as Enercon, Siemens Gamesa, General Electric LM Wind Power, TPI composites and CS Wind, local firms such as Ateş Çelik, Dirinler Döküm, Norm Civata, GİMAS and Tibet Makina produce clean energy equipment in İzmir.
The Aegean region’s accomplishment as a production center for both national and international equipment producers follows İzmir's success as a provider of a strong supply chain, which has contributed to Turkey's success in the renewable energy sector, according to Yavuz.
He urged greater investments in equipment production to strengthen Turkey’s position in the global renewable energy sector.
İZKA’s work also encompasses developing İzmir as a pioneer in offshore wind investments along with its support for both foreign investors and local firms in developing infrastructure projects to boost employment in renewables.
Turkey’s Aegean region with its high winds is suitable for wind energy generation and hosts 38% of Turkey’s wind power plants. The current installed capacity of wind plants in the Aegean region at 2,868 megawatts (MW) is forecasted to reach as much as 3,500 MW in the coming years when the projects either under construction or planned are finalized.
Nearly 20% of wind power plants in Turkey with an installed capacity of 1,462 megawatts (MW) are located in İzmir. Taking into account the plants under construction and planned licensed wind power plants, this amount is expected to reach 1,700 MW.
According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), Turkey's renewable energy capacity of 42 gigawatts (GW) is predicted to reach 63 GW by 2024, placing Turkey among Europe's top five and 11th worldwide in terms of renewable capacity.
The fDi’s ranking showed that Europe was the world’s top region for foreign investment in renewable energy projects in 2019 with the U.K.. taking the lead.
Most of the renewable energy investments in the U.K. went to wind energy, which was followed by biomass power, according to the ranking.
After the U.K., Spain ranked second with the most FDI projects in solar energy. France followed Spain thanks to the French government's climate change agenda, including strong incentives for foreign investment.