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Wind Is Key to Turkey’s Growing Energy Needs

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) this week at a workshop in Turkey, said that Turkey must exploit its huge wind energy resources if it wants to meet its increasing power demand while becoming less dependent on energy imports. The workhop on integrating wind power was held in Ankara and organized by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in cooperation with the Turkish Wind Energy Association (TWEA/TÜREB). The event brought 300 representatives from industry, government and national electricity companies together to discuss the potential for wind power development in the country.

Turkey’s installed wind capacity tripled during 2007 from 50 megawatts (MW) to almost 150 MW. It tripled again during 2008 to reach 433 installed MW, and by the end of 2009 it had almost doubled to 801 MW. At the same time, the Turkish government announced a 30% objective for renewable energies by 2023 with plans to push wind energy up to 20,000 MW of installations for the same year.

“With an average growth in power demand of 8% each year, this means that if the 20,000 MW target is met, wind power will cover one fifth of Turkey’s power demand by 2023” said Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA. “With huge wind energy potential, ambitious government targets and a recent track-record of rapid wind energy growth, Turkey could be one of the future wind energy movers and shakers, but numerous administrative hurdles must be overcome to attract more investments and manufacturing to the country.”

According to the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Turkey has wind potential to install 48,000 MW of wind energy capacity which could produce 160 terrawatt-hours of electricity per year, twice the country’s current electricity consumption.

In 2009, 39% of all new electricity generating capacity built in the EU was wind power, ahead of coal, gas and nuclear. The sector saw investments of about €13 billion in the EU. Annual installations of wind power have increased steadily over the last 15 years, with an annual average growth of 23%. A total of 74,767 MW is now installed in the EU, providing 4.8% of electricity demand.