Renewables sector calls for support

Renewables sector calls for support

ISTANBUL-Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey should increase feed-in tariffs to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy investments, said top sector professionals yesterday.

“The government should abandon the current feed-in tariffs for renewable energy producers,” said Kor Özay, assistant general manager of Ağaoğlu Energy, speaking at the third annual Wind & Solar in Turkey Conference in Istanbul. “Feed-in tariffs for renewable energy remain even lower than the tariff for the nuclear power plant to be built in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin,” said Özay.

The current feed-in tariff for wind and hydro power is nearly $7.3 cents per kilowatt-hour, for geothermal power it is $10.5 cents per kilowatt-hour and $13.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for biomass and solar power according to official data.

İbrahim Erden, manager of strategy and business development at Enerjisa, also finds the feed-in tariffs insufficient to boost the competitiveness of Turkey’s energy investments in renewable energy sources.

“The Turkish government needs to support us through incentives,” he said, adding Turkey should also work on establishing an industrial base for renewable energy to lower costs and import dependency.

Speaking at the conference, Erol Demirer, chief executive of Demirer Holding, said, “Some bureaucratic obstacles and the wrong feed-in tariff cause foreign investors to hesitate when investing in renewable energy.”

“The importance of renewable energy sources for Turkey is crucial, not fashionable,” Yeşim Bezen, energy expert at Istanbul-based Bezen & Partners, wrote in a public report. Atilla Gürbüz, deputy director general of the Directorate of Renewable Energy at Turkey’s Ministry of Energy also supports the report.

Gürbüz said Turkey’s average energy demand grew by 7 to 8 percent annually and different sources were needed. Priority would be given to the usage and development of local sources, he said. Turkey needs extensive financing to meet rising energy demand through new investments. “By 2020, Turkey needs nearly $120 billion in energy investments,” he said.