University’s project spurs solar power use

University’s project spurs solar power use

Merve İdil ANKARA / Hürriyet
University’s project spurs solar power use

‘Our goal is to meet 10 percent of Turkey’s energy production from the sun,’ says Turan. DHA photo

Turkish companies will begin producing solar batteries within a year, thanks to contributions by GÜNAM, a study group at the Middle East Technical University, according to Prof. Raşit Turan, head of the group.

“A [solar battery] production facility investment starts from at least $20 million. While working on building up research and development and the infrastructure for solar energy investments, we are also encouraging private company investments by showing that this technology is possible in Turkey,” Turan told daily Hürriyet in a recent interview.

Turkey’s total energy demands are at around 200,000 gigawatts, Turan said. “This need can be met by solar panels on a 3,000 kilometer square area, which is equal to Lake Tuz [in central Anatolia. This is a crazy project, and not that possible technically. Turkey can never meet the demand with 100 percent solar energy, because of the characteristics of solar energy. Our initial target is to meet about 10 percent of the country’s energy-production needs from the sun.”

Turkey exports 75 percent of its energy use, Turan also said. “We paid $54 billion for energy in 2011; this has a huge share in Turkey’s current account gap.”

GÜNAM cooperates with companies such as Nurol, Tofaş, Arçelik, Tera Solar and Sunlego, Turan said, adding that the car maker Tofaş is considering using solar panels on automobile roofs for cooling and ventilation.