Turkey's first mini solar tenders to be held next week

Mini YEKA tenders will incorporate more small and medium-sized investors to expand deployment of renewables, Donmez says

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Turkey's first mini solar Renewable Energy Resource Zone (YEKA) tenders are scheduled to start next Monday, April 26, according to the Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez on Wednesday.

Speaking at a webinar organized by Sabanci University Istanbul's International Center for Energy and Climate (IICEC) via video link, Donmez said that Turkey aims to hold at least 1,000 megawatts (MW) of wind and 1,000 MW of solar YEKA tenders each year as part of Turkey's National Energy and Mining Policy.

These YEKA tenders are an important brand for Turkey and are a means to expand renewable energy in the country, he said.

The 74 upcoming tenders will have varying capacities ranging from 10, 15, and up to 20 MW and will incorporate more investments from small and medium-sized entities, Donmez said.

Turkey received 709 applications for these 74 mini solar YEKA tenders in 36 provinces throughout the country. This equates to an average of 9.6 applications for each tender, totaling 9,440 MW in capacity. Investments in the tenders, known as YEKA GES-3, are expected to reach almost $1 billion.

According to the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry's announcement late Wednesday, the first 46 tenders with a cumulative capacity of 610 MW in 23 different provinces, will be held between April 26 and May 7, while the dates for the remaining tenders will be announced later on.

Turkey has witnessed a great expansion in renewable resources and technology over the 20 years, and according to Donmez, these tenders are an accomplishment towards the goal of meeting Turkey’s growing electricity demand from local resources.

According to Donmez, meeting this demand will not only require an increase in capacity but also in the local production of electrical equipment, which can only be possible from a collaboration between the public and private sectors.

"If Turkey's electricity demand increases by 5%, this would mean an increase of nearly 15 billion kilowatt-hours in demand every year. This equals 7,500 MW of production from solar plants and 4,500 MW from wind plants. Or in another scenario, if our demand increases by 3%, we need to install nearly 4,500 MW of solar energy per year to meet this demand," he explained.


Cost of onshore and offshore wind to see 50% decline


Speaking also during the webinar, the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Executive Director, Fatih Birol, said the rapid increase in global carbon dioxide emissions this year is expected to be the second-largest in history.

He said although many countries, including Europe, Japan, the US and China have pledged net-zero emissions by 2050, there was a great gap between the pledges that are set and those that are kept.

Despite this, he said the many positive developments indicate that renewable energy is expanding throughout the world.

In 2021, renewables are projected to provide 30% of electricity generation worldwide this year, Birol declared, recording the biggest share of the power mix since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

Birol said the two reasons for this growth involve governmental incentives and declining renewable costs.

The expansion in onshore and offshore wind is projected to grow rapidly due to the decline in costs, which are projected at nearly 50%, according to Birol.