According to Ember’s analysis, Turkey’s energy imports saved by $7 billion in the last 12 months, thanks to electricity generation from wind and solar.
According to the analysis of London-based think tank Ember on Turkey, natural gas prices in global markets have increased more than 7 times in the last year.
While the increase in natural gas prices was reflected in electricity prices with the effect of the increase in the dollar/TL, it accounted for one-third of Turkey’s electricity production last year.
On the other hand, each unit of electricity production from renewable sources precludes fossil fuel production and fossil fuel imports.
In Turkey, between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022, wind and solar power plants produced 46.3 TWh of electricity. If this amount was produced by natural gas power plants, an additional $ 7 billion would have to be imported.
If natural gas prices stay at the same level in the coming months, wind and solar are expected to save about 700 million dollars every month in Turkey.
High potential and growth opportunity in wind and sun
According to the analysis, 97 percent of the capacity increase in electricity generation in Turkey last year consisted of renewable resources.
Despite the high potential and growth opportunity in wind and solar energy in Turkey, the renewable energy capacity has not been increased enough to meet the increase in electricity demand in recent years. In the report, it was stated that the investment appetite should be used more efficiently by increasing the capacities allocated to wind and solar.
Turkey has the highest solar panel production capacity in Europe with an annual capacity of 8 GW, but less than 1 GW of solar power plants are commissioned every year. It is envisaged that Turkey can use its domestic solar panel production capacity at full capacity, replacing costly fossil fuel imports, thus further reducing electricity bills.
Ember Elektrik and Climate Data Analyst Ufuk Alparslan, in his evaluation of the analysis, pointed out that renewable energy can provide more benefits with the right policies and said, “After the Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism, renewable energy installations in our country will proceed through free markets and tenders. However, for this to happen, more capacity needs to be allocated to wind and solar, and market interventions that would hinder investments should be avoided. Tackling the energy crisis needs solutions that can be implemented very quickly, especially solar energy.”