Solar power in Turkey


Turkey is located in an advantageous position in the Middle East and Southeast Europe for solar energy. Solar potential is very high in Turkey, especially in the South Eastern Anatolia and Mediterranean provinces.[1] Conditions for solar power generation are comparable to Spain. 7.5 TWh was generated in 2018 which was 2.5% of Turkey's electricity.[2] Installed capacity was 5GW, with the Energy Ministry planning to have another 10GW installed in the 2020s.[3] However in 2020 Turkey ranked 8th in Europe for solar power,[4]: 49  and could increase far more quickly if subsidies for coal were abolished[5] and the auction system was improved.[3] Every gigawatt of solar power installed would save over US$100 million on the gas bill.[6]

Analyst Ramez Naam forecast in 2020 that, for medium-cost locations (Turkey is medium cost as sunshine is medium between Europe and the Middle East), new solar will be cheaper than the currently operating fossil-fuel plants by 2030.[7]

Peak daily generation in 2020 was over 1 TWh in September.[8] Bids for 1.5 GW are due January 2022.[9]


Karabuk Solar Energy Farm
  • The annual average total insolation duration is 2741 hours (7.5 hours per day).[10]
  • Average annual solar radiation is 1527 kW·h/(m2·yr) or 4.18 kW·h/(m2·d).[10]

Covering one half of one percent of the land area of Turkey with solar panels would be sufficient to generate all of the electricity used,[11] and less than 5% of land could provide all the energy needed.[12]

Policies and laws

The government is encouraging expansion and the utilization of solar energy for electricity generation. To stimulate investment in renewables, various incentive schemes have been introduced For example, renewable energy plants with an installed capacity of 500 kW or less are exempt from licensing obligations [1] Solar energy sources are covered by this law, which decrees that facilities which generate electricity from renewable energy sources will be granted a renewable energy resources certificate (RER Certificate) which will entitle such facilities to benefit from the incentives provided by the Law. EMRA is the competent authority to grant the RER Certificates. Permission is required from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry before building a solar park.[13]

Systems producing up to 50 KW (e.g. residential systems) are more lightly regulated than larger ones.[14] Systems producing up to 1-megawatt (MW) of power do not need a license, and plugged into the national grid are eligible for payments of US$0.133 per kilowatt-hour for 10 years.[15] Systems producing over 1-megawatt (MW) of power must be licensed, but only if they feed into the grid. Such licences often become mired in the bureaucracy which is meant to ensure the grid can cope.[16] As of May 2015 600 MW of these larger installation tenders have been approved. The one-off fee per MW varies considerably depending on the result of each tender.

As of 2019 smaller tenders[13] and lower interest rates are said to be the key to the expansion of solar power.[17] From June 2021 payments are in lira and set by the president.[18] In 2021 smaller tenders are planned to add up to 1 GW.[19] In 2021 there are few renewable energy agricultural cooperatives - it has been suggested that new ones would be profitable if farmers had more loans and technical help to establish them.[20] According to thinktank Ember building new wind and solar power is cheaper than running existing coal plants which depend on imported coal.[21] But they say that there are obstacles to building utility scale solar plants such as: lack of new capacity for solar power at transformers, a 50-MW cap for any single solar power plant's installed capacity, and large consumers being unable to sign long term power purchase agreements for new solar installations.[21]


Auction prices in 2021 were competitive with or lower than average wholesale electricity prices over the previous five years, and commercial PV is also competitive; but macroeconomic challenges and exchange rate volatility were causing uncertainty.[22]: 63 

Heating and hot water

Sales of flat-plate collectors (often public sector central) and vacuum tube (often residential) hot water systems were about equal in 2019,[23] as vacuum tubes are more efficient for households than flat plate.[24] Turkey is third in the world in solar water heating collector capacity after China and the US, with a capacity of about 20 GWth.[23]

The industry is well developed for hot water with high quality manufacturing and export capacity, but not so much for space heating, and is hampered by subsidies for coal heating.[5] A 2018 study found that solar water heating saved on average 13% energy and increased the value of properties.[25]


Photovoltaics (PV) growth is expected to be slow in 2019 due to financing challenges, but pick up again some time in the 2020s.[26] From May 2018 ‘unlicensed’ PV projects can have a generation capacity of up to 5 MW. In 2020 solar cell manufacturing started in Turkey,[27] and a second company plans to start in 2021.[28] In 2016 PV produced 3755 TeraJoules,[29] about 1TWh of Turkey's 300TWh annual generation. In 2017 auction prices were around US$0.07 per kWh,[30] and 1 GW is planned to be auctioned in 2020.[31] The Karapınar solar power plant started generation in 2020 and is planned to reach 1.3 GW.[32]

Solar PV deployment in GWp
Year Registered
PV capacity
Share of total
2008 0.75 4
2009 1 5
2010 1 6
2011 1 7
2012 5 12
2013 6 18
2014 40 58
2015 191 249
2016 583 832
2017 2589 3421
2018[33] 1642 5063 7799 2.56%
2019[34] 924 5987 9550 3.18%
2020[35] 680 6667 11718 3.84%
IEA-PVPS,[36] previous,[37][38][39][40][41]


There is potential for agrivoltaics with crops such as wheat.[42]

Rooftop small-scale PV

From 2019 the EPDK allowed net metering for homeowners and businesses installing 3-10 kW of PV on rooftops, so they can sell up to half of the electricity they generate to their electricity company, and receive payments equal to the price they pay.[43] As of 2019, the payback period was estimated at 11 years: removal of VAT and the fixed government approval fee and attaching borrowing for installation to the property's mortgage has been suggested to shorten this.[44]

Concentrated Solar Power

The Greenway CSP Mersin Solar Tower Plant, constructed at Mersin by Greenway CSP, has an installed power of 5 MW.[45]


As of 2020, unlike in the EU, obsolete solar panels are not classified as electronic waste and recycling criteria are not defined.[46]

See also


  • "OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Turkey 2019". OECD. OECD Environmental Performance Reviews. February 2019. doi:10.1787/9789264309753-en. ISBN 9789264309746. S2CID 242969625.


  1. ^ a b DAWOOD, KAMRAN (2016). "Hybrid wind-solar reliable solution for Turkey to meet electric demand". Balkan Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 4 (2): 62–66. doi:10.17694/bajece.06954.
  2. ^ "Electricity". Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (Turkey). Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Opportunities to strengthen the YEKA auction model for enhancing the regulatory framework of Turkey's power system transformation" (PDF). Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  4. ^ Overview of the Turkish Electricity Market (Report). PricewaterhouseCoopers. October 2021.
  5. ^ a b OECD (2019), page 36
  6. ^ "'Solar is key in reducing Turkish gas imports'". Hürriyet Daily News. 2020-02-19.
  7. ^ "Solar's Future is Insanely Cheap (2020)". Ramez Naam. 2020-05-14. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  8. ^ "Turkey's electricity consumption in 2020 up 0.14%". Retrieved 2021-12-30.
  9. ^ November 3; Moves, 2021 | Big (2021-11-03). "Turkey plans to increase its solar capacity by 2022 - REGlobal - Big Moves". REGlobal. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  10. ^ a b "Republic of Turkey Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources - Solar". Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  11. ^ "How is 100% Renewable Energy Possible for Turkey by 2020?" (PDF).
  12. ^ "The Sky's the Limit: Solar and wind energy potential". Carbon Tracker Initiative. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  13. ^ a b "Hotels in Antalya turn to solar power to reduce electricity costs". DailySabah. Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2015-09-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Policy in Turkey Encourages Renewable Energy Generation - Solar Novus Today".
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Tax incentives for solar energy". Daily Sabah. 8 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Amendments In The Law On Utilization Of Renewable Energy Sources For The Purpose Of Generating Electrical Energy".
  19. ^ "Turkey to launch mini solar tenders in 2 months, energy minister says". Daily Sabah. 2021-01-06.
  20. ^ Everest, Bengü (2021-03-15). "Willingness of farmers to establish a renewable energy (solar and wind) cooperative in NW Turkey". Arabian Journal of Geosciences. 14 (6): 517. doi:10.1007/s12517-021-06931-9. ISSN 1866-7538. PMC 7956873.
  21. ^ a b "Turkey: New wind and solar power now cheaper than running existing coal plants relying on imports". Ember. 2021-09-27. Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  22. ^ "Renewables 2021 – Analysis". IEA. Retrieved 2021-12-03.
  23. ^ a b "Renewables Global Status Report". REN21. p. 239.
  24. ^ Siampour, Leila; Vahdatpour, Shoeleh; Jahangiri, Mehdi; Mostafaeipour, Ali; Goli, Alireza; Shamsabadi, Akbar Alidadi; Atabani, Abdulaziz (2021-02-01). "Techno-enviro assessment and ranking of Turkey for use of home-scale solar water heaters". Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments. 43: 100948. doi:10.1016/j.seta.2020.100948. ISSN 2213-1388.
  25. ^ Aydin, Erdal; Eichholtz, Piet; Yönder, Erkan (2018-09-01). "The economics of residential solar water heaters in emerging economies: The case of Turkey". Energy Economics. 75: 285–299. doi:10.1016/j.eneco.2018.08.001. ISSN 0140-9883. S2CID 158839915.
  26. ^ "Tender cancellation affirms view of near-term Turkey renewables slowdown – Fitch Solutions". Fitch. 8 February 2019.
  27. ^ "Turkey to open 1st domestic solar panel factory in Aug".
  28. ^ "German AE Solar to open solar panel factory in Turkey in April". Balkan Green Energy News. 2021-02-17. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  29. ^ "Supply, transformation and consumption of renewable energies - annual data (choose Solar and TeraJoule)". EuroStat. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  30. ^ "Energy pricing and non-market flows in Turkey's energy sector" (PDF). SHURA Energy Transition Center.
  31. ^ "Turkey set to issue tender for 1GW of solar capacity". Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis. 2020-05-15. Retrieved 2020-07-06.
  32. ^ "GE Renewable Energy and Kalyon to power Turkey with 1.3 GW solar projects". TR MONITOR. 2021-09-23. Retrieved 2021-09-26.
  33. ^ Grafik III.I - 2018 Yılı Türkiye Elektrik Enerjisi Üretiminin Kaynaklara Göre Dağılımı
  34. ^ [1]
  35. ^ [2]
  36. ^ "IEA-PVPS Annual Report 2018". International Energy Agency — Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme. 20 May 2019. p. 116.
  37. ^ Trends Report 2010
  38. ^ Trends Report 2008
  39. ^ Trends Report 2009
  40. ^ Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2013-2017 Archived 2014-11-06 at WebCite
  41. ^ "Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2014-2018" (PDF). EPIA - European Photovoltaic Industry Association. p. 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  42. ^ "The economic potential for rainfed agrivoltaics in groundwater stressed regions" (PDF).
  43. ^ "Tax incentives for solar energy". DailySabah. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  44. ^ "New Incentives Brighten Turkey's Rooftop Solar Sector" (PDF).
  45. ^ "Solar tower at Mersin". Hurriet.
  46. ^ Erat, Selma; Telli, Azime (2020). "Within the global circular economy: A special case of Turkey towards energy transition". MRS Energy & Sustainability. 7. doi:10.1557/mre.2020.26. ISSN 2329-2229.

External links