Turkey has given the first production license for wind energy applications

The applications, dated Nov. 1, 2007, had been mired in red tape and debates on wind energy since then. The Energy Market Regulatory Agency, or EMRA, convened on Thursday at last to evaluate the applications, according to an Anatolia news agency story filed Sunday.

The EMRA decided to give a license to Tektuð, a Turkish electricity company, for a 25-megawatt wind farm in Adýyaman, in Southeast Turkey. On average, 1 MW of power can supply electricity to as many as 300 households per year.

On Nov. 1 three years ago, 751 applications flooded regulators’ desks. But since then, none of the wind turbines projects received a license as the authorities wrestled with various regulatory changes.

“The EMRA will continue to distribute licenses to wind farm projects whose technical assessment is positive and which do not involve more than one application for the same region,” Anatolia news agency reported.

Over the next term, the regulator is expected to give the go-ahead to 27 wind power projects with a total capacity of 1,343 MW. These investments may total between 2.7 billion Turkish Liras and 3.2 billion liras.

In a previous statement, EMRA chief Hasan Köktaþ said Turkey’s current wind energy capacity is at 1,200 MW and that 2011 will be a year of “mobilization” in the private sector’s wind energy investments.

Tolga Bilgin, chairman of the Wind Power and Hydropower Plants Businessmen’s Association, or RESSÝAD, said he expects other projects to be approved soon.

GE’s Turkish unit eyes producing wind turbines

General Electric’s Turkish unit revisits a plan to manufacture wind turbines in the country. ‘If the number of companies that need financing through export insurers falls, then we may dust off plans to make the equipment in Turkey,’ says Mete Maltepe, the chief of GE’s local energy unit.

Turkish companies have been going overseas to buy wind turbines because they relied on export insurers such as Euler Hermes, the world’s largest insurer of trade credit, when financing was scarce. Wind turbines will be more likely to be bought domestically as the global recovery takes hold and more loan facilities become available, Maltepe said.

GE wants to generate “significant” business as Turkey increases wind power capacity to 20,000 megawatts by 2020 from less than 1,000 megawatts now, Maltepe said. A planned government incentive of 5.5 euro cents per kilowatt-hour to wind power producers needs to be increased to at least 7.5 cents to justify investments, he said. The subsidy is awaiting parliamentary approval.

Wind turbine prices, which fell during the global economic crisis, have steadied and will start rising unless other, less-costly sources of renewable energy are developed, Maltepe said.