Wind energy key to meeting Turkey?s rising power demand

The workshop, organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in cooperation with the Turkish Wind Energy Association (TWEA/TÜREB), brough over 300 representatives from industry, government and national electricity companies together to discuss the potential for wind power development in the country.

Turkey’s installed wind capacity tripled during 2007 from 50 MW to almost 150 MW. It tripled again during 2008 to reach 433 installed MW, and by the end of 2009 it had almost doubled to 801 MW. Moreover, the government announced a 30% objective for renewable energies by 2023 with plans to push wind energy up to 20,000 MW of installations for the same year.

“With an average growth in power demand of 8% each year, this means that if the 20,000 MW target is met, wind power will cover one fifth of Turkey’s power demand by 2023” said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive of EWEA. “Wind is clean, indigenous and above all can start producing power quickly – crucial for a country whose power demand is soaring. With huge wind energy potential, ambitious government targets and a recent track-record of rapid wind energy growth, Turkey could be one of the future wind energy movers and shakers, but numerous administrative hurdles must be overcome to attract more investments and manufacturing to the country.”

According to the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Turkey has wind potential to produce 160 TWh (48,000 MW) of electricity, which is twice the current electricity consumption.

“Wind power is an opportunity for Turkey, and Turkey offers a market opportunity to wind energy investors and developers,” said Murat Durak, Chairman of TÜREB. “However, in order to exploit this potential, permitting procedures must be optimised and the government must put in place a legal framework that offers stability and certainty to those who want to invest for the next 15 years. With such conditions Turkey will get enormous benefits in terms of energy security, jobs and economic growth,” he concluded.

In 2009, 39% of all new electricity generating capacity built in the EU was wind power, ahead of coal, gas and nuclear. The sector saw investments of about €13 billion in the EU. Annual installations of wind power have increased steadily over the last 15 years, with an annual average growth of 23%. A total of 74,767 MW is now installed in the EU, providing 4.8% of electricity demand.

EWEA is the voice of the wind power industry, actively promoting the utilisation of wind power in Europe and worldwide. It now has over 600 members from almost 60 countries including manufacturers with a 90% share of the world wind power market, plus component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies and consultants.