Western wind energy giants plan to shift operations to Turkey

Daily Sabah
Western wind energy giants plan to shift operations to Turkey

Turkey's wind energy industry is the most industrialized sector compared to other renewable energy sources, Turkish Wind Energy Association (TÜREB) Head İbrahim Erden said, noting that Western industry giants want to shift their operations to the country as wind energy supply chains were disrupted in China in the post-COVID-19 period, Daily Sabah reports.

Erden was speaking at a press conference held at the TÜREB headquarters, where he noted that many large-scale companies operating in the wind industry want to diversify their supply chain and minimize the risks experienced during the pandemic period. He said that a road map has been determined for the wind energy industry to turn the crisis into an opportunity for Turkey and they have two main objectives increasing the capacity supply in the wind and expanding the industry.

He said, first, they will organize a technical trip with ministries, relevant institutions and organizations to industrial facilities in the western province of İzmir. “We will then attend the wind energy meeting to be held in Hamburg. We aim to hold meetings with main component manufacturers in Hamburg for them to shift the supply chain to Turkey,” he said. In addition, Erden noted that they aim to organize an event to promote Turkey's wind energy industry infrastructure and to hold a congress in İzmir towards the end of this year. “I believe that by the end of 2022, we will reach a turnover of more than 1.5 billion euros (TL 25.1 billion), 85% of which is export-oriented in our wind industry,” he said.

Erden stated that senior representatives of industrial companies operating in wind energy such as Nordex, Vestas and Enercon already have thoughts about shifting the production to Turkey. "They shared these thoughts with us at the meetings we held this year. Turkey emerges as a reliable center in wind energy production. Turkey's wind energy industry is the most industrialized sector compared to other renewable energy sources.”

The sector official stated that the installed capacity of wind energy in Turkey has reached 11 gigawatts and that there are many facilities producing chemicals in addition to six towers and four blades facilities.

Meanwhile, he added that investments need to be increased for a sustainable wind industry. “Capacity increase plans are also indispensable for the growth and continuity of the wind energy industry. Turkey has the infrastructure to install more than 2 gigawatts of wind energy annually. Studies show that our electricity grid can include 3 gigawatts of installed power per year,” he evaluated.

Appetite for investments

TÜREB Vice-Chairperson Arif Günyar also said that there is a serious wind energy investment appetite in Europe. “There is a serious amount of money in the market around the world and everyone is looking for projects. Turkey can gain a good momentum at this point,” Günyar said. “We need to show that we are a predictable and sustainable wind energy market. We are in the right timing to attract foreign investments,” he noted.

Ebru Arıcı, also a TÜREB vice-chairperson, said on Turkey’s wind energy capacity that the current installed capacity of wind energy exceeds 11,000 megawatts (MW). “We have a project under construction of 5,000 MW, of which 2,000 MW is the Renewable Energy Resource Areas project. We also have a hybrid power plant project of 2,000 MW in total,” she informed. Arıcı noted that under the global pandemic conditions, 3, 270 MW were put into use in a period of approximately 1.5 years.

Erinç Kısa, Vice Chairperson of TÜREB Investment and Investors, said that capacity increases in wind energy are the locomotive factors for the development of the sector.

Soon, a capacity of 2,000 MW to 3,000 MW and approximately $3 billion will be invested in this area, he said, noting that the investment will be completed in approximately four to five years. “In Turkey, $12 billion were invested in wind energy, most of which was initiated after 2010. As an industry, we are preparing for a total investment of 5,000 MW in hybrid projects, 1,500 to 2,000 wind capacity increase and 2,000 MW to 2,500 MW solar energy investment,” Kısa said.

Turkey invested some 1 billion euros (around $1.05 billion) in new wind energy capacity throughout 2021, according to WindEurope’s Financing and Investment Trends – The European Wind Industry in 2021 report.

The amount was 11% less than the $46.6 billion invested in 2020 but still showcased wind energy remains an attractive investment and there is plenty of capital available to finance it.