Solar power’s share rises to 7.5 percent at end of July
The share of solar power in Turkey’s total installed electricity capacity rose to 7.5 percent by the end of July but it is still lower than the country’s untapped potential, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency on Aug. 16.
Turkey added 658 megawatts of solar capacity in the seven months of this year, bringing the country’s total solar power capacity to 7,325 megawatts, which represents 14 percent of total renewables capacity.
By the end of July, Turkey’s total electricity installed power capacity reached 98,263 megawatts out of which renewables constituted around 52,000 megawatts.
The share of solar in Turkey’s total electricity generation was 4.2 percent during the January-July period with 8 billion kilowatt-hours of output.
Total electricity generation reached 188.8 billion kilowatt-hours during this period.
Although Turkey is among the countries with the highest solar power potential with around 7.5 hours of sunshine daily, its potential is still relatively untapped.
Turkey is trying to increase its output from renewables as the country is highly dependent on imported fossil fuels.
Compared to the other renewable resources like hydropower and wind, solar is one of the newest energy sources in the country in terms of installations, which started as unlicensed plants in 2013. Solar capacity increased to 5,595 megawatts in 2019 and 6,667 megawatts last year.
Out of the current 7,325 megawatts of installed solar capacity, 6,626 megawatts represent unlicensed power, with the remaining 699 megawatts being licensed power.
Konya, a Central Anatolian province, has the highest solar power capacity in Turkey with 914.9 megawatts.
Konya is also home to Turkey’s biggest solar power plant, Karapınar, which will generate 1,000 megawatts of power when completed. The current operational capacity of the plant built by Kalyon Enerji is around 300 megawatts.
Ankara follows with 390.9 megawatts of installed solar capacity and the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa with 376.7 megawatts.
The Central Anatolian province of Kayseri and the Aegean province of İzmir also make sizable contributions of 335.9 megawatts and 294.6 megawatts, respectively.
Turkey generated 12 percent of its electricity from wind and solar in 2020 relative to the world average of 9.4 percent, according to London-based think-tank Ember. Wind accounted for 2 percent of total electricity generation in 2011 and reached 9 percent last year. Solar, which had no share in electricity generation 10 years ago, met 3 percent of the total electricity output in 2020.
Last year, the share of hydropower plants in total electricity generation was 25.6 percent, while the share for natural gas power plants was 22.7 percent. Imported coal and lignite power plants accounted for 34.8 percent of total generation last year.
Turkey imports around 45 billion cubic meters of natural per year paying approximately $12 billion to pipeline exporters Russia, Azerbaijan and İran, as well as LNG suppliers including Qatar, Nigeria, Algeria and the United States. Nearly a third of the country’s gas needs are met with LNG supplies.