Ruling AK Party pledges strong support for renewable energy projects

HAZAL ATEŞ
ANKARA
Published 05.09.2017 21:00

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has vouched for the Renewable Energy Resource Areas (YEKA) projects of the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry that aim to increase domestic and national energy resources. In the latest report titled, "YEKA's Move in Domestic Energy," compiled by the party's economic management, the sector's six major moves were emphasized.

In this context, energy invoices will be lowered, the amount of energy consumption per capita will increase, the technology investments in YEKA will bring exports to the upper level, external dependency will be reduced, the contributions of renewable energy to the economy will be maximized and energy investments will expedite the growth.

In the report prepared under the chairmanship of AK Party Deputy Chairman in charge of the economy Cevdet Yılmaz, the government's energy agenda for the new era was revealed.

The report evaluates domestic resources and sector-related developments, especially with regard to YEKA projects.

Domestic, clean, reliable sources of renewable energy are one of the utmost important topics of the AK Party's energy policies. YEKA projects will increase the share of domestic and renewable resources in electricity generation, protecting the environment and allowing for the transfer of advanced technology applications and experience in this area to Turkey, which will become a leading exporting country in terms of global technologies.

Economic growth leads to a bump in Turkey's energy bills as the economic activity that drives growth requires immense amount of energy. With the development of economic activities and the increase in per capita national income, the per capita consumption of electricity has also increased.

The share of electricity production based on renewable energy sources in total was 26.3 percent in 2002, jumping to 33.2 percent as of last year. In the same period, the share of wind energy increased from 0.004 percent to 5.7 percent, and solar energy's share rose from zero to 0.4 percent. The power generation levels of renewable energy plants are now expected to increase significantly.

In this sector, which depends highly on imports, the current account deficit and supply security will be taken into account to maximize the use of domestic and renewable resources. In order to expand the contributions of renewable energy to the economy, the share of domestic production in equipment will be increased and unique technologies will be developed.

The products, which will be produced locally within the scope of YEKA, will bring the technology capacity to a higher level due to the density of the technology market, which is well above the average of Turkey's 10 largest export markets. The manufacturing industry will contribute to the increase in exports by moving the weight of products with high technology density in exports to levels higher than 3.5 percent.

Without using public resources, the country will be equipped with electricity generating facilities with a 1,000-megawatt (MW) capacity for production. The share of domestic, environmental and renewable energy resources will be increased in installed power and electricity production. The majority of the equipment to be used in the electricity production facilities will be produced domestically. On the one hand, energy security will be ensured and the foreign exchange gap will be closed.

The technologies will be integrated with the electricity generation capacity for which local recruitment will be provided with expert engineers. To that end, research and development (R&D) centers, where 80 percent of employees will be Turkish, will be founded.

The YEKA model offers a series of advantages for firms, as well. The fact that the wind plants will have a capacity of 1,000 MWs will reduce the costs derived from economy of scale, securing a purchase guarantee at a fixed price for 15 years.

Moreover, the state will allocate the areas where power plants and production facilities will be founded. The plants that will be built within the scope of wind YEKA project will deliver at least two years of production capacity.

The report also highlighted the Aug. 3 tender for wind power, which was held regarding eight turbine producers holding 90 percent of the global wind power market. According to the findings, 150 wind turbines and a wind turbine factory with a production capacity of 400 MWs will be established with the project for which the contract was awarded to the Siemens-Türkerler-Kalyon consortium. The total amount of the investment is likely to reach $1 billion, the report noted.

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