Ankara, Berlin prep renewable cooperation road map for 2019

Published 15.05.2019 00:03

Renewables and cooperation in energy efficiency in 2019 is a prime topic on the Turkish-German economic agenda, the vice president of the German-Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK), energy expert Zafer Koç, told Anadolu Agency (AA) yesterday.

"Energy is one of the priority areas in German firms' investments in Turkey. Also, the expansion in renewables cooperation is a focal point for both countries," Koç said.

Turkey and Germany have already established cooperation while building the necessary infrastructure to expand the usage of residential rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy storage devices for those systems in Turkey, Koç confirmed.

Following newly revised legislation in January that enables residential utility customers to supply their own electricity, Turkish households are preparing to produce solar energy by installing rooftop and solar facade panels.

Turkish citizens are now allowed to install solar panels with a maximum capacity of 10 kilowatts (kW) with less red tape in accordance with the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority's (EMRA) revised legislation.

"When the legal basis for this expansion is put in place, a significant market can be created in Turkey. Turkey and Germany are working hard toward that goal," Koc said.

To this end, some workshops will be conducted in the third and fourth quarter of 2019 between Turkish and German officials, following which a study trip will be organized in Germany to provide information on how the country worked at a local level with the municipalities, Koç explained.

Four working groups to provide dialogue and cooperation covering renewables, regulations, energy efficiency and energy infrastructure are part of the two countries' efforts to further explore opportunities for bilateral energy expansion.

He added that energy efficiency and renewables working groups will discuss the topic of energy efficient networks in the third and fourth quarter of the year.

These groups were formed after Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez and German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier met in Ankara for the second Turkish-German Energy Forum in October last year, where they signed a letter of intent to enhance the Turkish-German energy partnership.

"One of the most concrete topics of our discussion is 'Energy Performance Contracting' [EPC] as a new financing model," Koc said. He added that the natural gas market is also on the agenda of the Turkish and German officials, which will be supported by a study trip to Germany with the participation of officials from Turkey's EMRA.

Turkey also wants to add offshore wind to its energy mix in the coming years.

With this offshore wind plan, the country looks to offer, for the first time, a total of 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, which is expected to be located in the Kırklareli, Tekirdağ and Edirne provinces in the Thrace region of Turkey. The total investment volume is forecast to exceed $3 billion.

To help achieve its aim, Turkey would like to avail itself of the experience in this sector from several countries, including Germany and Denmark.

"However, with Germany, it has a clear plan. Germany's first offshore wind farm experience started with the Alpha Ventus Offshore Wind Farm 20 years ago. With that experience, Germany started to gain extensive knowledge in that field and wants to share it with Turkey," he said.

The Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources will also seek further data and research on offshore wind from other relevant institutions and organizations, which will then be shared with German officials to eventually conduct analyses and pinpoint the optimum offshore locations in preparation for offering tenders, Koc said.

"At the end of this process, we will organize a two or three day workshop in Turkey with the attendance of German officials, and this will be followed by a technical study trip in Germany. This workshop again will be done in the third or fourth quarter of the year," he confirmed.

Following this process, Koç said, "The only thing left for companies will be to calculate the required investment amount and the turnover on their investments."

Although the entire process could take a few years, he contended that the offshore wind tender will eventually be very attractive.

The third Turkish-German Energy Forum planned for the end of this year in Germany will offer a platform for the unveiling of all these efforts conducted during the year, according to Koç.

He concluded by noting that the expansion of German investments could be supported by more market liberalization, sustainability and predictability, while Turkey's young population and the country's ever-increasing energy demand makes the investment environment even more attractive.

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