Turkey's total installed wind energy capacity will reach 8 gigawatts (GW), with an addition of 600 megawatts (MW) in 2019, the Turkish Wind Energy Association (TÜREB) head Mustafa Serdar Ataseven said Friday.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency Ataseven said Turkey's installed wind energy capacity was boosted last year, despite the financial difficulties that beset the country. He added that there is potential for increasing the capacity further this year.
Although the association is yet to release its wind energy data, investor data from TÜREB shows that Turkey's installed wind energy capacity was around 7,400 MW at the end of 2018.
Ataseven said 2018 was a year for the preparation, installation and construction of new wind projects that had been licensed in 2017. He added that despite Turkey's economic challenges last year, the Renewable Energy Resource Zone Project (YEKA) 1 announced new wind energy zones on Sept. 29.
YEKA 1 wind energy projects have been assigned in the Marmara region - 406 MW in Kırklareli and 294 MW in Edirne. In addition, 160 MW and 90 MW will be located separately in Sivas, with a 50-MW facility set for construction in Eskişehir.
The pre-licenses for these YEKA wind projects will be finalized by the end of this year and the plants will become operational in three years' time.
Ataseven noted that the secondary wind potential areas, not previously awarded in tenders, would also come into play in the future.
Wind energy pre-licenses for 2,130 MW were finalized over a five-day period starting Dec. 25, 2018. These pre-license tenders were issued to 32 different projects in four regions around Turkey.
Based on the success of Turkey's first YEKA, which launched wind energy tenders in Turkey, Ataseven said that construction would for a wind turbine factory start in the Aegean region to meet growing domestic and international demands.
A Siemens Gamesa-Tuürkerler-Kalyon consortium won the first 1,000-MW wind tender, offered by Turkey's YEKA in August 2017.
The tender stipulated that the consortium would construct a wind turbine factory in Turkey in the following 21 months, after the signing of an agreement.
Meanwhile, according to the EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, Turkey ranked 17th among 40 countries, jumping from the 27th place in 2010.
EY Turkey Energy head Erkan Baykuş said that Turkey's renewable energy sector has received a lot of interest from foreign investors. "Turkey offers attractive investment opportunities for local and foreign investors, particularly in wind and solar power. The fact that the country has huge participation from energy investors indicates a high appetite for the sector," said Baykuş.
Renewable energy leads other energy resources in Turkey in terms of installed power that will come into operation soon. Baykuş cited reports that indicate Turkey's thermal power capacity would rise to 100 MW by the end of 2019. Meanwhile, hydroelectric power is expected to see an increase of 435.5 MW, in total Turkey's renewable capacity will surge 940.2 MW.
The annual presidential program also suggests that total power generation and consumption in Turkey will reach 317 billion kilowatt-hours next year, while per capita power consumption will rise to 3,000 kWh.
Turkey's total installed capacity is expected to rise by 5 percent and hit 94,760 MW in 2019. The share of natural gas in power generation is likely to fall to 29 percent, which was 37 percent in 2017.
According to the Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation, the country's installed capacity increased by 3.7 percent in 2018, compared to the previous year, hitting 88,347 MW.
Solar led Turkey's newly installed power capacity adding 851.8 MW, followed by hydroelectric power with 980.2 MW in 2018. In addition, wind and geothermal power added 432.9 MW and 218 MW to the national grid, respectively.