The Turkish Solar Energy Society, Solarbaba tells pv magazine the country installed around 1.7 GW of new solar PV capacity in 2017.
Of this, Ates Ugurel, founder of Turkey’s Solarbaba, says, roughly 99% belongs to the so-called unlicensed segment of the solar market, with just 15 MW added via the licensed market, which comprises tendered PV plants larger than 1 MW.
In 2016 and 2015, Turkey added just 571 MW and 248.8 MW of new capacity, respectively. By the end of 2017, Turkey’s cumulative solar PV capacity stood at 2.647 GW.
2018 is a crucial year
A year ago, Ugurel told pv magazine that 2017 would be a strong year for Turkey’s solar industry, due to the capacity of approved non-licensed projects, which he calculated to be “between 1.5 GW to 2.5 GW at most.” The newly added PV capacity in 2017 confirms Ugural’s initial calculations.
At the time, he also said growth in 2018 onwards might be at risk, due to a spike in the fee for unlicensed projects, which have to pay power distribution companies for transporting the generated solar power.
Therefore, 2018 appears to be a crucial year for Turkey’s solar PV sector.
Tendered licenses remain dormant
A characteristic of the Turkish PV market in both 2017 and 2016, is that a negligible amount of the 600 MW of tendered PV capacity has been installed.
Specifically, just 15 MW and 13.3 MW of licensed PV capacity was installed in 2017 and 2016, respectively.
A reason for this, according to Ugurel, is that a lot of the licensed projects face “huge problems with land development, environmental impact assessment”, among other issues.
Another problem, Ugurel adds, is that the first tender concerning the licenses for 600 MW of solar PV capacity, divided projects into “very” small plants, ranging from 5 MW to 10 MW each.
Most often, Ugurel tells pv magazine, big energy players are not interested in such small investments, since they don’t lead to a reasonable investment rate of return (IRR).
“Basically, as I have always said, the tender method [of the 600 MW PV capacity] was wrong and now we see the results.”
Other analysts have pointed out that successful projects in the 600 MW tender need to pay a one-time contribution fee per installed MW, and this fee, which was the result of the tender process, is often very high, thus leading to dormant projects.