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Turkey: A Newland for Photovoltaics?

The Republic of Turkey lies between latitudes 36o and 43o N, and longitudes 25o and 45o E. Turkey’s area occupies 783,562 square kilometers (300,948 sq mi), of which 755,688 square kilometers (291,773 sq mi) are in Southwest Asia and 23,764 square kilometers (9,174 sq mi) in Europe. With a population reaching 75 million, Turkey’s electricity production and consumption based on primary energy resources are continuing to increase. Gross electric energy consumption of Turkey was 229.3 TWh in 2011 and increased by 9.0% in reference to 2010. Total installed capacity of electricity is 51,116 MW as of August 2011 and broke down by resources as 63.5% thermic (natural gas, coals, liquid fuels. etc.), 34.5% hydro, 1% wind and 1% other renewables (PV, wastes, etc.). Compared to other energy sources, PV systems don’t have sufficient contributions to gross electricity demand.
Turkey’s dependence on natural gas and, accordingly, on foreign energy sources is still the main difficulty of the energy policy. The official development plans aims to ensure sufficient, reliable supply of electricity at low cost, diversify energy sources, and secure energy supplies in order to maintain economic and social development of Turkey.
This article aims to show the existing status and recent developments of the PV sector in Turkey. Main figures on this article are provided from IEA-PVPS Annual Reports which are prepared by this article’s authors.

By Dr. Metin Colak, Dr. Mete CubukCu


PV Power Potential and Utilization


Turkey is located in an ‘energy corridor’ which is between the major oil and natural gas producing countries in the Middle East and Caspian Sea and the Western energy markets.

With a remarkable 1,350-1,650 kWh/kW PV output potential (Figure 1), Turkey belongs to the solar energy privileged countries. Nevertheless, cumulative installed PV power in Turkey by the end of 2011 is estimated only about 6.5-7 MW. About 1 MW PV power system is estimated to be installed in 2011, with the annual market remaining at a stable level compared to the previous year.

On January 8th, 2011, the amended RES law Nr.6094 on ‘Utilization of Renewable Energy Resources for Electric Production’ consisting of incentives for PV and other renewables became valid. PV electricity has been guaranteed to be bought at US$0.133/kWh for a 10 year period and additional incentives are available to encourage domestic manufacturing of components (US$0.008/kWh for PV module integration and mechanical solar construction, US$0.013/kWh for PV modules, US$0.035/kWh for PV cells, US$0.006/kWh for the inverter, and US$0.005/kWh for materials focusing solar energy on PV modules).

But, the declared incentives do not meet the expectations of the market; PV sector is still in its infancy in Turkey. However, it is anticipated that the PV market in Turkey will grow strongly soon as a result of catching grid parity.

For the time being off-grid applications account for 90% of Turkey’s cumulative installed PV capacity. But, new regulative steps taken by related public bodies support the RES law 6094 and encourage also the utilization of grid connected PV power plants. These regulations prescribe the technical and financial procedures and principles for supplying energy to the grid. Another regulation defining the guideline for connection to distribution grid is currently published by the Electricity Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK).


Implementation of PV Power Systems


MW-scaled PV projects are expected to be installed when the grid parity is available in Turkey. Currently, there are a few kW PV pilot projects. Some attractive PV applications which are installed in the recent years are explained below:

-300 kW solar research facility by TEKNOLOGIS (www.teknologis.com.tr) in Ankara using various types of modules, inverters, and mounting systems (Figure 2)

-GuneskentSuncity: Antalya Metropolitan Municipality has officially started the program for creating Antalyas

-Guneskent identity on July 2010. This long running program involves defining PV roadmap for Antalya. The first Clean Energy Branch Office as a department of a Municipality in Turkey was established by Antalya Metropolitan Municipality (http://www.antalya.bel.tr). The office continues its studies in a Solar House Building which has been concluded in April 2011 (Figure 3).

-10 kW grid-connected/double axis tracking PV system by Enisolar Ltd. (www.enisolar.com) in Bosch Bursa Factory (Figure 4)

-6 kW grid-connected PV systems by Motif Proje Ltd. (www.motifproje.com) in Samsun (Figure5)

-15 kW grid-connected PV system by Girasolar Ltd. (www.girasolar.com) for AKSAN YAPI (Figure 6)

-Solar Watchtowers: Izmir Forestry Administration’s ‘Renewable Powered Watchtowers at the Summits of Forests” project is supported by Izmir Development Agency (IZKA). Within the context of the project, nine 12x170=2040 W mobile PV power systems have been projected (Figure 7).

-Green Hospital: Turgutlu State Hospital with 300 bed capacity has been tendered by Health Ministry via Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI) to DOYAP A. S./Gork Ltd. consortium and the foundation has been laid at the beginning of 2011. Consortium spokesman said if preliminary project proposal approved, Turgutlu State Hospital will be the first ‘Green Hospital’ of Turkey. A small scale PV plant has been installed at the construction site.

-Water Supply: Akademi Enerji Ltd. installed a facility utilizing a solar pump at the Gordes province of Manisa to provide potable water of Sahinkaya village. Since the drilling point is 6 km away from the village transformer substation, solar potable water system cost one third of the expenditure for a new power line and transformer installation, with a substantially reduced operation cost.

-42 kW stand-alone PVPS application by Global Tower in Ozdere-Izmir (Figure 8)

-138 kW PVPS application in TOKI buildings, Kucukcekmece-Istanbul (Figure 9)

-18 kW grid-connected PVPS application by Mimtasolar Ltd. in Istanbul (Figure 10)

-15 kW grid-connected PVPS at the KCETAS building by Solimpeks Ltd. in Kayseri (Figure 11)

-31.1 kW triple-junction PVPS application by Form Energy Co. in the factory of Perfetti Van Melle, Istanbul (Figure 12).

-PV Power System (PVPS) test application by Bati Enerji Co. & Motif Proje Ltd. in Burdur (Figure 13).

-17.2 kW Solar Water Pumping Project by Merk Energy Ltd. in Meseler-Ankara (Figure 14).

-PVPS applicationby Ekosolar Ltd. in Gazi University, Ankara (Figure 15).

-2.25 kW PVPS application by Norm Energy Ltd. in Mersin (Figure 16).


Industry Status


Currently there is not any manufacturer on feedstock, ingots, wafers and cells in Turkey. There are a few PV module and PV module constituents (glass, frame etc.) manufacturers. Some leading companies and their main activities are briefly introduced below:

-ANEL Group (www.anelenerji.com.tr) is the first full-automated PV module manufacturer in Turkey since 2009. ANEL Group, having IEC 61215 certification for their PV modules, produces various goods for known European brands with TUV, IEC, CE, ISO 9001 and ISO 4001 certifications. ANEL Group concluded a 1,26 MW PV power plant in Northern Cyprus by providing an EU project support.

-Trakya Cam Co. (www.trakyacam.com.tr), a leading flat glass supplier in the region, one of the largest glass producers in Europe is increasing sales for Solar Glass. Mother company, Sisecam group is in a leading position in business lines covering all basic fields of glass such as float glass, glass household articles, glass packaging and glass fiber as well as soda and chromium compounds. Trakya Cam producing two types of tempered, patterned solar glass in both 3.2 mm and 4 mm thickness named DURASOLAR P+. Durasolar P+ are tested and certified by the SPF Institute and are certified as U1 class.

-Nurol Technologies Inc. started crystalline silicon solar cell and module studies in R&D department of ODTU-GUNAM (www.gunam.metu.edu.tr) facilities. The main purpose of the project is developing the cell production processes, making prototypes and producing the high quality production. This production and know-how will guide to Nurol Holding investment decision on PV sector (www.nurolteknoloji.com).

-Inci Aku Co. (www.inciaku.com) manufactures VRLA AGM and VRLA Gel battery for renewable energy and UPS applications. Inci Aku’s R&D Center is the first and the only R&D Center in battery sector accepted by the Republic of the Turkey Ministry of Industry and Trade since 2009.

-Another module manufacturer, Tera Solar Ltd., produces 5 W to 250 W mono- and poly crystal modules and has a 5 MW/year production capacity in Bursa (www.tera-solar.com).

-Mavisis Co. produces on-grid and off-grid solar and wind inverters, load banks, grid connected power shifting devices, multifunctional inverters and laboratory equipment like photovoltaic simulators (www.mavisis.com).


Future Outlook


Turkey announced in the development plans, the main objectives of its energy policy are to ensure sufficient, reliable and economic energy supplies in order to maintain economic and social development, to provide the growing energy demand, to reform and to liberalize the energy sector to increase productivity and efficiency and to advance transparency. The main difficulties are the increasing demand and the import dependence.

Increasing energy imports (mainly oil and natural gas) for the electric power stations (US$38.10 billion and US$54.10 billion in 2010 and 2011 respectively) forces the government to take more advantage of the national renewable resources. Increasing demand is another forcing factor.

Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEIAs) prepared a projection considering the supply and demand data and warned that “unless the necessary steps are taken, electricity supply will not meet the demand in 2016.”

With this warning also in mind, along with the environmental responsibility issues, public awareness gradually increased for last five years and alternative energy resources has become a new area of interest.

As a tangible target, the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry 2010-2014 Strategic Plan aims to reach a 30% share of renewables (including hydro) in electricity production by 2023. In the light of this striking projection, a rapidly growing PV market in Turkey in the near future is anticipated.


Prof. Metin Colak is Professor at Ege University (Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics and Solar Energy Institute). He is Founder and Chair of the Turkish PV Technology Platform representing Turkey together with Dr. Cubukcu on the IEAPVPS Task 1 working group.               

Dr. Mete Cubukcu is a researcher at Ege University Solar Energy Institute (EU-SEI) since 2003. He is the general secretary of Turkish PV Technology Platform (UFTP) and also represents Turkey on the International Energy Agency - Photovoltaic Power Systems (IEA-PVPS) TASK 1 working group titled ‘Exchange and dissemination of information on PV power systems’. He is also member of PV Mirror Committee at Turkish Standards Institution.



For more information, please send your e-mails to pved@infothe.com.

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