PV market Turkey: Strong expansion expected

Solar park in Kayseri in Anatolia. (Photo: Schletter)
Solar park in Kayseri in Anatolia. (Photo: Schletter)

Industry representatives are expecting strong growth in photovoltaics on the Bosporus. This year, a newly installed capacity of at least 500 MW is expected. At the end of April, Turkey's largest energy trade fair, the ICCI, will be hosting a special forum for solar energy for the first time.

"The market has the potential this year to reach the 500-MW expansion mark," said Josefin Berg, an analyst at the consulting firm IHS. In 2016 and 2017, an increased number of large-scale projects with more than 1 MW capacity are expected to receive approval and will then be carried out. The first instalment for the licensed large-scale plants is 600 MW.

Companies such as Schletter that have subsidiaries in Turkey expressed optimism about the local business prospects when asked by Sonne, Wind & Wärme. "We are expecting a market size of about 500 MW in 2016 and hope that we can further strengthen our good position," said Christian Salzeder, head of business development. Last year, total expansion amounted to approximately 250 MW, of which the company supplied about 70 MW. Currently, the company is manufacturing for local EPC's and investors, for example two tracker projects, one with a size of 11.5 MW in Kayseri, Anatolia, and a 5-MW project in Isparta. "In addition, we are currently building and delivering permanently elevated open-area installations with about 20 MW for various projects in Mersin, Isparta and other regions," Salzeder said. The demand for roof-mounted systems is also set to increase in 2016. The business will be generated by the local subsidiary. Salzeder is expecting the expansion of the photovoltaic market in Turkey to level off at approximately 1 GW annually. This will put the Turkish market at the same level of importance as South Africa, Brazil or Russia in the future. However, it is not easily accessible from the outside and therefore needs to be served by local companies. "Turkey will nevertheless gain in importance as a link between the East and West for our company," Salzeder said.

Taxation of imported modules

IBC Solar expressed similar optimism. "The installed PV capacity being targeted in 2016 is between 800 and 900 MW, and we are looking to achieve a market share of 10 per cent of that. We currently have good chances of achieving this goal," said Bulent Yildiz, managing director of IBC Solar Türkiye. The taxation of imported modules, which came into effect in Turkey in December, does not affect the project business in most cases. The investors can apply for a VAT exemption for import modules as well. The projects that are affected are smaller ones, for which an application for VAT would have been too much work. The Turkish government is clearly pursuing the goal of encouraging the use of locally-produced modules in this segment. The current total capacity of Turkish module manufacturers is approximately 300 MW.

"We are seeing that a lot is happening right now," said Stefan Müller, board member at Enerparc. An agreement was recently signed with an investor who has already secured the rights and land for solar parks with an output of 100 MW. Can Sözen, head of the Turkish system provider Zenit Enerji in Izmir, is also optimistic and is expecting PV business of up to 100 MW in 2016. However, the crucial factor is to secure the financing for projects, including through increased cooperation with foreign investors.

"By hosting a special forum for solar energy at the ICCI, we intend to provide a platform for investors and the industry to promote the development of photovoltaic potential in Turkey", said Murat Özer, deputy general director of Hannover Messe Türkei. The 22nd International Energy and Environment Fair and Conference (ICCI) will take place from 27 to 29 April in Istanbul and is considered to be the most important energy event in Turkey and the region. More than 340 exhibitors and 16,000 visitors are expected.

Hans-Christoph Neidlein

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