Turkey - Growth defies slow permitting process

TURKEY: Prospects for Turkey's wind energy market are positive, with expectations that up to 1GW of new capacity could come online this year.

Change of heart… GE announced in March that it is to sell its 50% stake in Turkish developer Gama Enerji
Change of heart… GE announced in March that it is to sell its 50% stake in Turkish developer Gama Enerji

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More than 800MW of new capacity was added in 2013, above the roughly 500MW commissioned in each of the previous three years.

Growth has continued despite the lack of a strong incentive mechanism for wind-power production, now seen as less of a negative factor as other countries cut subsidies. As wholesale power prices remain above a feed-in tariff (FIT), Turkish wind investors have continued to prefer to take on merchant risk while future prices are supported by growing power demand.


Developers are busy as they look towards a 28 April 2015 deadline for presenting applications for new wind-farm licenses to energy regulator EMRA. Companies must have one year of wind data to apply, which means meteorological masts must be up by 27 April this year.

EMRA has set a deadline for projects that were licensed in 2011 and early 2012, cancelling those that have not received construction permission, secured land and received approval from the ministry of energy by May 2014. The problem is that Turkey's cumbersome authorisation process means delays may not be the fault of developers.

Change of heart GE announced in March that is to sell its 50% stake in Turkish developer Gama Enerji, even though in 2013 the US conglomerate identified wind energy as one of the sectors, alongside healthcare, aviation, transportation and gas-fired power projects under a three-year $900 million investment commitment in the country.

Current political backdrop The conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP), in government since 2002, has largely taken a laissez-faire approach to wind energy, but targets up to 20GW of wind for 2023 as the energy-hungry country seeks power from a variety of sources

High point of 2013 Turkey's largest wind farm, the 142.5MW Enerjisa Baresa project in Balikesir, began operating

Low point Hopes were dashed for a streamlining of the authorisation process

Key influencer The forestry ministry has been given a big say in land-use permission for wind farms (and even met masts), which is bad news given the industry's view that the ministry is out to sabotage Turkey's wind sector

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