On August 27, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson joined a panel with IEA CEO Fatih Birol and Turkish Wind Energy Association (TÜREB) President Hakan Y?ld?r?m. They addressed the resilience of the wind industry during the COVID-19 crisis and the positive prospects that wind energy can offer Turkey in the context of the post-COVID-19 recovery.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson told participants that wind turbines at wind farms have continued to operate throughout the year in Europe as governments defined them as an essential service. The wind industry has also continued to build wind farms despite restrictions on the movement of workers and essential components. Regarding the manufacturing of wind turbines, several factories experienced temporary closures at the height of the crisis in March and April, especially in Spain and Italy. But they have reopened and all 150 factories in Europe are running again.
“Wind power has been resilient during the current COVID-19 pandemic for at least three reasons: wind is a local resource, which means we don’t have to depend on energy imports; wind energy generates growth and jobs; and the wind industry has a strong supply chain in Europe and other parts of the world. But it is also a globalized industry, which is why free trade is so important, “said Dickson.
Turkey has not been an exception in this regard. It now has 8 GW of wind energy installed, which represents 8.5% of its electricity mix. It is in the Top 10 countries in the world in terms of installed capacity. 70 companies are involved in the manufacture of wind turbines and components in Turkey, and this brings huge benefits to the Turkish economy: jobs, income, exports – Turkish factories are exporting wind turbines to Australia.
And wind power has additional advantages in Turkey and elsewhere: onshore wind is now the cheapest form of new power generation in most of Europe. It brings benefits to local populations, such as tax revenue to local governments, and creates local jobs. It’s good for the environment: Wind power does not emit greenhouse gases or other air pollutants and uses very little water.
But the Turkish market currently lacks a clear outlook for investors and project developers. The Government has not yet extended completion deadlines for projects currently under construction that have been delayed due to COVID-19. And Turkey has not yet agreed on a new remuneration system as the YEKDEN / FiT scheme ends on December 31, 2020. There is also no clear timetable for the next YEKA auctions.
Dickson emphasized that more clarity and flexibility in the timing and design of wind power auctions was needed for Turkey to take full advantage of all the benefits that onshore wind can provide: “The wind industry needs the maximum possible flexibility in timing. start-up of wind farms currently. under construction ”, he said, the flexibility given by Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Greece and other European countries.
“The industry also needs more clarity on long-term auction agreements. We need to know when the auctions will take place. There is a growing international demand for wind energy. The industry makes investment decisions for new factories and projects based on which countries offer the clearest visibility into its future auction portfolio, ”added Dickson.