‘Support for the wind energy should continue increasingly, stronger and faster steps should be taken’
TÜREB, Turkish Wind Energy Association, hosted Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of IEA; Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope and Hakan Yıldırım, President of TÜREB; in TÜREB Talks 2, entitled ‘What is the Secret of the Resiliency of Wind Energy: A Post-Covid Analysis’.
At the online meeting, IEA President Dr. Fatih Birol first provided information about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on world energy markets. Stating that the stimulus packages prepared by the world governments to recover their economic structures which is currently at the level of 9.5 trillion are expected to reach 20 trillion dollars by the end of the year; Mr. Birol said that a remarkable sum of this amount is expected to go to the renewables, particularly to the wind energy investments. ‘As a person who is observing Turkish energy sector maybe a few thousand kilometers away, but carefully, I’d like to state that the wind energy sector not just should be supported but should be supported even more. Turkey has a huge potential in wind energy and the right policy would be to take benefit from this situation’, said Fatih Birol. Birol also recommended that Turkey to take strong and rapid steps in order to secure the strong stance of the sector.
Reminding Turkey's electricity demand is increasing much faster than any of the European countries and that the wind and solar has a very important role to meet the electricity demand, Dr. Fatih Birol stated, ‘To extract the natural gas we have to go down hundreds of meters underground. But for wind or solar we do not have to take such actions. If we take the current account deficit as an important problem, as it is, the wind has an extremely critical role to play here. Turkey, despite the huge steps taken so far, is still using less than 15 percent of the economic wind potential. I believe that decision makers will give the same importance to wind, solar and energy efficiency as much as to natural gas, concerning the current account deficit situation.’
‘70 companies have been working in Turkey for the manufacture of wind turbines’
‘Even though we face difficulties in Italy and Spain especially in March and April, as of now wind farms and around 150 wind factories continue to operate across Europe. The wind industry has proven its resistance during pandemic’ said Giles Dickson, the WindEurope CEO. Stating that Turkey is ranked within the first 10 countries globally with its installed wind capacity, Dickson gave details about the measures taken to support the wind industry by European governments. ‘Turkey is a good example of the wind across the globe, also has created a good foundation. Currently, 70 companies have been working in Turkey to manufacturing wind turbines and different components. Exports are made up to Australia (from Turkey). Wind investments are quite affordable and also bring serious benefits to the locals in terms of employment and tax’, said Giles Dickson. Stating that due to Covid-19, delays took place in the sector globally and governments around the world took measures in order to secure completion of the projects, Dickson said Turkey also needs to act flexible on this issue and as for the auctions, he calls for a simple and clear process.
‘Turkey succeeded localization, 70 percent of the wind generation is being exported’
Underlining that due to decisive policies within the last decade, ‘There is no other sector in Turkey of which the localization rate is around 60 to 65 percent except wind energy’, Hakan Yıldırım, President of TÜREB said. ‘As proud of this situation as we are, we also need to remember that the sector began to lost momentum in the last few years. In 2016, we peaked with nearly 1.5 GW of installed power, but there has been a serious decline in the last few years. We must set the mechanisms right’, Yıldırım warned; adding, currently 44 power plant projects belonging to 25 investors are under construction which represent an additional capacity of 2,300 MW. Yıldırım reminded that ‘1,200 MW of these projects must be commissioned until 31 October; and the remaining part by December 31st, even with a single turbine for acceptance, if they want to benefit from YEKDEM (the renewable energy resources support mechanism).’
‘The effects of the Covid-19 crisis will continue in the upcoming period. The projects those need to be completed in the spring are delayed and now over to September and October. Therefore, we requested an additional period of 6 to 8 months from the relevant government institutions’, said head of TWEA, and reminded that this request is still in the evaluation phase. Yıldırım said, ‘The DNA analysis of the wind industry has already been done. The sector is resistant to Covid-19 and investors in our country did not stop to establish 2,500 MW power plants by taking all kinds of precautions’ and finally added, ‘The only way to remain immune against crises is to use local resources’.