Government incentives, profitability and aspirations to utilize Turkey's renewable energy resources have driven up investments in solar power plants across the country.
Investors have primarily focused on solar power plants located in the country's southeastern cities, including Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep and Diyarbakır, as well as in central Anatolia's Konya where the number of insolation days is comparatively higher.
Last year, solar power plants in Turkey had an installed capacity of around 800 megawatts, which crossed 2,000 megawatts between January and October this year, while the number of unlicensed solar power plants rose to 2,442 from 1,042. The growth was mostly driven by a number of incentives provided by the Turkish government.
The director of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Center at Harran University, associate professor Azmi Aktacir, said solar power generation in Turkey is increasing substantially. Profitably coupled with government incentives have attracted new investments in the sector.
Turkey's Solar Energy Map (SEM), prepared by the Renewable Energy General Directorate under the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, showed that the country's total annual insolation time was 2,737 hours - a total of 7.5 hours on average every day - while the potential annual solar power generation was estimated at 1,527 kWh/m2.
As of the end of 2016, 34 solar power plants, with an installed capacity of 402 megawatts, received prelicenses, while two solar power plants, with an installed capacity of 12.9 megawatts, were granted licenses.