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Turkey's energy policy

19 March 2018

Turkey, with a current population of around 80 million people, geographically occupies a strategic position - in terms of energy, between Europe and the countries of the Middle East.

Already in a previous article, we had alluded to a strong increase in photovoltaic energy installed between 2014 and 2015 by the Ottoman country, (link article Global and European PV 2016) standing out from the rest of European countries.

In what follows, we review some of the most up-to-date data in this country regarding its energy policy, renewable energies and, more specifically, photovoltaics.

Ancient Anatolia, with a current population of around 80 million people, geographically occupies a strategic position - in terms of energy, between Europe and the countries of the Middle East.

Other economic data:

- Data source Human development Index o IDH (ONU) : Link Expansión

- Data source PV Penetration: IEA-PVPS. Trends 2017 in Photovoltaic Applications.

According to Ahmet Yilanci, from the Ege University Solar Energy Institute, Izmir, Turkey, in his article "PV Technology Status and Prospects" published in IAE-PVPS 2015, an annual growth of 6% in energy demand is estimated until 2023.

Continuing with data provided by this author, the electricity consumption in Turkey during 2015 was 264,137 GWh, while the total production was 259,691 GWh.

73, 15 GW of generation capacity installed at the end of 2015, distributed in the mix as follows:

-57.3% thermal (natural gas, coal, liquid fuels, etc.)

-35.4% hydroelectric,

-6.1% wind and other renewable energies.

Already in 2016, the aggregate generation capacity was 5.9 GW, distributed as follows:

Turkey (as of February 2017) has reached 78.49 GW of electricity generation capacity, according to PV-magazine.

According to Ahmet Yilanci, Turkey's energy distribution network is entirely in the hands of the private sector, while the privatization of power generation assets will be established to be completed in the coming years (...) has resulted in a greater participation of private entities in the electricity generation sector, from 32% in 2002 to 75% in 2015 (...) Turkey pays millions of dollars for its energy imports every year (...) it is expected that encouraging policies supported by favorable entry tariffs , increase the participation (of renewables) in the national network in the coming years. Turkey now aims to obtain at least 30% of its electricity requirements through renewable energy sources by the year 2023.

The specific objectives for the country (we understand for 2023 and in order to obtain figures of generation capacity) are, according to data of the article that we examined:

-34 GW of hydroelectric power,

-20 GW of wind power,

-1 GW of geothermal energy,

-1 GW of biomass (this is not yet included in the official documents)

-and 5 GW of solar energy (photovoltaic and concentrated)

The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (ETKB) has updated its Strategic Plan (2015-2019) https://policy.asiapacificenergy.org/sites/default/files/Strategic%20Energy%20Plan.pdf

And according to this plan, it is expected to reach 3,000 MW by the end of 2019, says Yilanci. (We understand generation capacity by photovoltaic).

According to pvmagazine 27/02/2017, the national objective for solar photovoltaic technology is 5 GW (generation capacity) installed for 2023.


We observe how the photovoltaic is placed in third place of the renewable after the hydroelectric and the wind.

If we look at the figures of BP regarding renewable sources in the following table, we will see that PV represents the largest increase in 2016, this being 235.5% in relation to the previous year. At the end of 2016, photovoltaics covered 0.3% of the total mix, far from the share of geothermal (5.8%) or wind (1.1%).


The majority of photovoltaic installations in Turkey go through the so-called "unlicensed" fragment of the market, in projects of up to 1 MW each. The only exception has been two projects installed last year in eastern Turkey: 8 MW in Elazig, and 5.3 MW in Erzurum, respectively. The two projects belong to a separate category of 600 MW of large-scale photovoltaic energy that has been tendered in several phases in recent years. Pv-magazine.com/2017/02/27.

According to IEA-PVPS Trends 2017 in Photovoltaic Applications "Turkey considers two different procedures to install PV: licensed projects without size limits and projects without licenses, which are limited to 1 Mw. To date, only 2 photovoltaic plants licensed in Turkey have been installed with a total installed capacity of 12.9 Mw. " We see that it is the same news from pvmagazine, with little variation in the figures.

This last web page dedicated to the photovoltaic energy, gathers opinions of agents of the sector: "the projects without license have to be connected to the network within two years (following) of his approval" what augurs a good year 2017 for the FTV . But "the growth in 2018 onwards could be at risk due to the recent changes in the tariff (...) an indirect way to reduce the feed rate (FIT) for projects without license of $ 0.130 per kWh in 2016 to $ 0.126 per kWh in 2017 and up to $ 0.103 per kWh in 2018. "That almost means the end of the unlicensed market as we know it." On the other hand, "the sector anxiously awaits when and when the 600 MW bid for large-scale photovoltaic projects will materialize. Tendered projects must be connected to the network by the end of 2019. "

Already in 2018, pv-magazine publishes different articles, signed by Pilar Sánchez Molina, regarding Turkish photovoltaics.

Pvmagazine 11/01/2018: the country installed around 1.7 GW of new photovoltaic solar energy capacity in 2017 (...) 99% of this new capacity belongs to the so-called "unlicensed" segment of the solar market, with only 15 MW added through the authorized market, which includes tendered photovoltaic plants of more than 1 MW. (...) At the end of 2017, the cumulative photovoltaic solar capacity of Turkey was 2,647 GW.

Let's see how, in recent years, the Turkish photovoltaic is being built:

Pvmagazine 01/22/2018: According to the new statistics published by the Turkish electricity transmission company (TEİAŞ), about 1,175 MW of new photovoltaic installations of 1 MW or less were connected to the grid in the country in December. Through these new additions, the photovoltaic capacity installed last year reached 2,588 MW, while the accumulated installed capacity of the country, which at the end of 2016 was only 832.5 MW, has exceeded 3,420 MW. Of the total installed power, around 3,402 MW come in the form of unlicensed photovoltaic installations, while the remaining capacity, 17.9 MW, is represented by licensed photovoltaic capacity. These figures have made the Turkish photovoltaic market the leader in 2017, particularly in Europe.

We see the corroboration of this last assertion, in Solar Power Europe's version:

Pvmagazine pronounces on prices: the regulated tariff that was granted to photovoltaic projects without a license was reduced by 25% at the beginning of 2018 (...) In 2018, the regulated tariff for this type of projects will be $ 0.10 per kWh .

Pvmagazine 02/26/2018: The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey, Berat Albayrak, announced that two tenders will be held for new large-scale wind and solar projects at the end of next summer (...) that the tender for solar energy , which is expected to allocate another 1 GW of capacity, could also include storage, without providing more details (...) Project of the Renewable Energy Resources Area (YEKA), which initially started for wind energy and since last year includes the solar energy.

José Antonio Roca, of the Energy Newspaper, already informed about the avatars of the Turkish photovoltaic, in February of 2015, under the title of Turkey he will install 60 GW renewable until 2023, and he does now, in January of 2018, with the title Turkey adds 1,700 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity in 2017, where in addition to collecting most of the figures we have exposed, it notes the fact that "licensed projects face, among many others, huge problems with land development and environmental impact assessment."

We finish with other Yilanci data, of interest for the photovoltaic sector:

"The average annual solar radiation is 1 527 kWh / m2 per year and 4.2 kWh / m2 per day. The total annual solar radiation period is approximately 2,738 hours per year and 7.5 hours per day. The energy efficiency potential for a photovoltaic plant is 1 300-1 600 kWh / kWp "

"Laws 6446 (New Electricity Market Law) and 6094 (Amendment Law on the use of renewable energy resources in the generation of electricity) are the two main laws directly related to the use of solar energy."

Law 6446 introduces some important changes in the current electricity market system, including amendments to license types, framing its provisions around each type of market activity, specific provisions for certain types of license (generation, transmission, distribution, sale wholesaler, retailer, self-producer and self-producers group), the introduction of a mechanism for preliminary licensing and investment incentives, such as extended terms and grace periods for environmental compliance.

Law 6094 introduces important modifications to improve the incentive mechanism under the Renewable Energy Law and encourage investment opportunities in renewable energies:

- A new feed rate plan is introduced, which classifies the different levels of feed rates for different technologies.

- Ground use rate incentives

-In accordance with Law 6094, a purchase guarantee of 13.3 USD / kWh is granted for the production of solar electric energy for ten years. The incentives are available for photovoltaic power plants for 5 years that are or will be in operation before December 31, 2020.

-Some supplementary subsidies for local equipment products during the first five years of operation.

And a final perspective or estimate of the future of this author, Ahmet Yilanci: "The total amount of investments that will be made to meet the demand for energy in Turkey until 2023 is estimated at around 110 BUSD. Given the increase in energy consumption and the need for national energy security and the reduction of carbon emissions, it is widely recognized that it is imperative for Turkey to rapidly increase the contribution of renewable energy resources. "



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