Turkey has good opportunities for experienced companies to enter the solar market. PV expert Atilla Başuslu explains, why and how

6/8/16, 12:00 PM -

Expert interview: Atilla Başuslu, sales director of ICCI, talks about the prospects and bottlenecks of the Turkish PV market. The 22nd International Energy and Environment Fair and Conference took recently place in Istanbul.

Atilla Başuslu is sales director of ICCI in Istanbul.

ICCI 2016 showed increased investors’ appetite in photovoltaics and wind energy in Turkey. Do you think this trend will continue?

Turkey is predestined for a prosperous solar market. A solar radiation of average 7.5 hours per day with up to 1.500 kWh per kW, an increasing electricity demand of more than 75 million inhabitants and an established production sector are the basis for a strong solar and wind energy market. This is meanwhile recognized internationally and we report a lively approval, which is also evident in the rebooking for ICCI 2017.

Presently the Turkish PV market is dominated by solar parks. Do you also see a growing market for commercial and residential rooftop installations?

Out of 500 MW anticipated new installed capacity in 2016 around 200 MW are license-free projects below 1 MW. Many of those projects are commercial and residential rooftop installations for self-consumption. 357 MW of license-free projects are requested in total. In the medium-term, we expect this figure to double.

Do you think that soon storage of solar electricity will be popular in Turkey as we see that in many other countries?

We expect that if solar energy will be socially acceptable and will have penetrated enough households storage will be a topic for Turkey too. We estimate that ICCI 2017 will act also as platform for first presentations in the field of energy storage.

What obstacles still need to be overcome?

Licensed and non-licensed solar projects have to pass different application and approval steps on a local and national level. Bureaucracy is the main hurdle for a faster development of the Turkish PV market. Patience and local partners with a good network to the competent authorities are required in order to progress in this field. Moreover knowledge of the relevant legal aspects and local conditions are essential. Another challenge is the availability of useable areas for ground-mounted systems, since it is not allowed to build solar parks on agricultural areas. Additional barriers are grid connection and grid capacity, lack of installation experience and of quality assurance.

Are there enough qualified local installers or do you see training needs?

Much remains to be done in this field. There are already some professional and skilled Turkish installers, but they are still a minority. There are good opportunities for experienced international companies to enter the market.

Interviewed by Hans-Christoph Neidlein.

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