Turkey ranked fifth among wind energy equipment manufacturers in Europe in 2019, exporting equipment to 44 countries across six continents.
The wind power industry has provided approximately 8.5% of the country's total electricity generation, which corresponds to $1 billion (TL 7.38 billion) in gas imports. Turkey's total wind power installed capacity is expected to be nearly 10,000 megawatts by the end of this year. On top of the increased installed capacity, the sector is also growing in terms of equipment production.
According to Turkey Wind Energy Association data, 79 firms are active in the field, exporting equipment to 44 countries on six continents. Approximately 70% of the turnover of these companies comes from these exports.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Turkish Wind Energy Congress President Hakan Yıldırım said that more turbines have been manufactured domestically this year to reach an additional capacity of 2,500 megawatts but did not reach the target due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yıldırım said they will operate at the additional capacity in 2021.
“The Renewable Energy Support Scheme (YEKDEM) expires on June 30, 2021. This mechanism has helped industrialists and investors to reach a good level as Turkey has entered the top 10 countries in wind energy in the world. In this context, we believe that a new mechanism should be established to maintain this growth and support domestic production. The support for domestic production should continue for 10 years,” he said.
Yıldırım said YEKDEM required consumers to pay no additional costs due to its lowering effect on electricity prices.
Turkey supports renewable energy investments through its current YEKDEM, which launched in 2011. The scheme supports wind and hydropower plants at 7.3 cents (TL 0.58) per kilowatt-hour, geothermal facilities at 10.5 cents per kilowatt-hour and solar and biomass plants at 13.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. These figures can also vary slightly depending on the use of locally produced equipment in the plants.
The country first announced that the scheme would expire on Dec. 31 this year before extending the scheme until June 30, 2021, in light of the pandemic disrupting supply chains, particularly in the first half of the year.
Turkey’s motivation to end the scheme was based on its dollar-based trade.
Yıldırım said that a wind energy capacity of approximately 1,110 megawatts has been created that will benefit from YEKDEM and that 1,375 megawatts of wind turbine capacity over 10 years will be taken from the support mechanism.
“There is a serious gap in terms of project stock between 2021 and 2023. Turkey’s wind energy industry should grow 1,000 megawatts annually,” he said.
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