With new technologies came into use, further contributed with financial backing and investments, Turkey’s wind energy sector’s installed capacity surged tenfold in the last 10 years, Turkey Wind Energy Association's (TÜREB) chairman said Tuesday.
The number of power plants in the country also reached 198 as of last year and the total installed capacity of the country has exceeded 8,000 megawatts as of March, Hakan Yıldırım told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Yıldırım said that a total of 3,285 turbines installed across the country to increase the wind energy’s share in Turkey’s energy portfolio which is already significant as a clean, renewable and environmentally friendly source.
Yıldırım said that the country's wind energy capacity was around the 48,000-megawatt level on terrestrial space, according to calculations made 10 years ago, which they now believe is over 100,000 megawatts as blade lengths, tower heights and generator capacities have improved a lot over the years with new technologies.
“Ten years ago, turbine powers averaged 2 megawatts, wing lengths were 40-45 meters, and tower heights were around 80 meters. Today, 5-6 megawatts of generators carry 70-80 meters of wings and these are mounted on towers 150-160 meters high,” he said, noting that “if there were 24,000 turbine positions that will set 48,0000 megawatts 10 years ago, today we can obtain 120,000 megawatts capacity if we put 5 megawatts turbines on those positions.”
“Technology is progressing very rapidly in the wind sector as in every field. Wind energy is increasing and will continue to increase its capacity and usage areas day by day with the continuous development of technology,” Yıldırım added.
New support scheme needed
Yıldırım, meanwhile, said that the Renewable Energy Support Scheme (YEKDEM) will be terminated as of the end of this year, thus new support scheme with new prices and conditions is needed, stressing that the YEKDEM was not a subsidy, but rather was a “support mechanism that keeps the sector alive.”
Explaining that the announcement of the expected new mechanism is critical for both investors and industrialists, Yıldırım said: "Turkey has serious knowledge in the wind industry. Further development of the sector which hosts companies that provide supply to world giants, employs 15,000 people, uses up to 70% of its manufacturing capacity for exports and prevents $900 million worth natural gas imports annually will be a significant gain for the country in terms of reducing foreign dependency on energy.”
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