Wind will play a significant role in Turkey's continuously growing economy in the upcoming years, according to an International Energy Agency, IEA, official Monday.
"Turkey is growing fast which is obviously good for the economy, and the growing population will increase energy demand," said the Head of the Renewable Energy Division of the IEA, Paolo Frankl, in an interview on Monday.
Turkey has become one of Europe’s largest wind energy markets with the cumulative installed wind capacity for the country amounting to 3.8 gigawatts, according to data of the Global Wind Energy Council, GWEC.
Frankl noted that wind will have a major role in the country due to its growing share in the last decade.
Nine years ago, Turkey only had 20-30 megawatts, MW, of installed capacity generated from wind energy, but currently this figure has ticked up to over 4,000 MW.
Frankl said the production of renewable energy equipment has increased employment opportunities, but cautioned that renewable energy investments are quite competitive.
"Companies who want to invest in a country would prefer to transfer their technologies instead of creating completely new facilities where they can produce equipment," he said.
He added if renewable companies come to Turkey, they don’t want to take risks and start a business from scratch which would help in the creation of jobs.
Instead, they would prefer to transfer technologies to the country to lower the investment risk, he said.
"Remember this is a competitive market, and Turkey is very attractive but there are many other countries which are attractive for renewable investments as well. Some investors will simply go where they can invest easier," he said.
- Renewables - a necessity for climate change, easing pollution and competitive pricing
"I am responsible for implementing renewables at the IEA. But we are realistic, we are technology neutral, I don't defend renewables as an NGO, or an industry member," he said, and added that it is necessary to use renewables because they are cost effective, alleviate climate change issues through less pollution, and offer affordable energy costs.
Commenting on fossil fuel dominance, Frankl said that it is vital to distinguish between the categories of electricity, heating and transport.
"It is true in particular with the transport and heating sector that the pressing role of fossil fuels is difficult. In both cases, the most important focus should be in energy efficiency."
By Gulsen Cagatay