Spain willing to invest in wind power in Turkey

Alberto Ceña said he wanted to carry a message to Turkish executives that investment costs in wind energy were lower than they thought.

According to the Spanish companies, the biggest problem in Turkey, when it comes to renewable energy, is the unclear laws. Those uncertainties have to be eliminated in order to make way to lure investments, Alberto Ceña said.

Pointing out the similarities between Turkey and Spain in terms of geography and wind conditions, Alberto Ceña added that Turkey could be a passage for Spanish companies to open out to other international markets.

Spain is the world’s fourth biggest producer of wind power, after the United States, Germany and China. Wind energy has reached 20,000 megawatts in Spain today, and Spain meets 14 percent of its electricity demand from wind energy.

The largest producer of wind power in Spain at the end of 2009 was Iberdrola, with 25.5 percent of capacity, followed by Acciona on 20.9 percent and NEO Energia with 8.3 percent.

The Energy Market Regulatory Authority, or EMRA. provided licenses for wind turbines that will have 3,350 megawatts of installed capacity, Energy Minister Taner Yýldýz said in February.

In 2002, Turkey had next to none wind energy recourses, he said. In 2009, wind energy capacity of the country reached 802 megawatts, Yýldýz said. He added that figure will increase to 2,200 megawatts within the next two years.

As of November 2009, Turkey added wind turbines with installed capacity of 374 megawatts. Also by that date, hydroelectric power plants with 564 megawatt-capacity also stepped in by that time, and geothermal energy plants with installed capacity of 47.4 megawatts were added to the country’s energy resources.

A Wind Atlas of Turkey published by the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Agency (EMRA) in May 2002 indicates that the regions with the highest potential for wind speeds at heights of 50 m are the Aegean, Marmara, and Eastern Mediterranean Regions of Turkey, as well as some mountainous regions of central Anatolia.

In 2009, 343 MW of new wind energy capacity were added in Turkey, bringing the total up to 801 MW. This represents a year-on-year growth rate of 75%.

Taking into account the projects currenly under construction, it can be expected that some 500 MW of wind projects will be added in 2010.

Recent years have seen the start of a wind energy boom in Turkey. Before the famous tender on 1 November 2007, EMRA had received applications for more than 6,300 MW worth of wind projects, more than half of which are still under evaluation today.

Following the call for tender in November 2007, additional applications for 751 projects were received by EMRA in one day, totaling 78 GW. To date, close to 3,000 MW of Turkish wind power projects have been licensed by EMRA, out of which 822.90 MW were operational at the end of February 2010, and a further 490.4 MW are under construction.

It is expected that the remaining applications received before November 2007 will be licensed in the very near future. Following this, licenses are scheduled to be granted for 10,000 MW in the coming five years, 15,000 within 10 years and 20,000 MW in the long term.

However, experts caution that Turkey’s transmission infrastructure needs substantial upgrades in order to allow such large scale developments to be connected to the power grid.The policy environment for wind power

Since the introduction of Turkey’s Electricity Market Law in March 2001, Turkey has taken substantial steps towards creating a competitive and functioning electricity market, restructuring public institutions operating in the sector, and implementing the market rules that will ensure liberalisation of the sector.

Turkey has a target of increasing the country’s installed wind power capacity to 20,000 MW by the year 2023. In order to boost the uptake of renewable energy, the Turkish government in May 2005 enacted its first Renewable Energy Law), which introduced tariff support for electricity produced by renewable sources.

In May 2007 a revision of the law increased the tariff slightly to 5 – 5.5 Euro ct/kWh for a period of 10 years. While the level of support is low in comparison with other European countries, wind power producers are free to sell to the national power pool or engage directly with eligible customers in bilateral agreements where prices are generally higher than the guaranteed price.

A number of additional policy measures have helped to increase renewable energy production in Turkey in recent years. These include the obligation of the national transmission company to provide grid connection to all renewable power projects and improved transmission links with the EU to stabilize the power system.

Furthermore, most restrictions on foreign investment in the Turkish power sector have been lifted.In addition, a law has been enacted to exempt wind power installations of less than 500 kW from the obligation to receive a generation license from the EMRA. It is expected that this limit will soon be significantly increased to include larger installations.