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Higher, Further, Faster: Turkey Wants to Break Offshore Wind Records

Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak has announced that Turkey will shortly be holding a call for tenders for the country's first offshore wind farm. However, it is not just any offshore wind farm that is to be built, but the world's largest.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

It is to become unique, the first offshore wind farm in Turkey. At least according to Turkish media, such as Daily Sabah. The Aegean Sea has been identified as the ideal location for the project. A near-shore wind farm will be built off the coastline. Due to neap water depths there, the costs are expected to be lower than those for average offshore farms.

In the last ten years, Turkey has already invested heavily in the upgrading of their wind energy industry: wind power capacity was expanded from 146 megawatts in 2007 to nearly 7,000 megawatts at the end of 2017, only in onshore projects though, as Hürriyet Daily News reports. Competent help from abroad has been obtained, but the government has taken care to ensure that the domestic economy will also benefit. For example, projects may only be implemented if a percentage of the components are manufactured in Turkey, which has led to various turbine manufacturers having set up factories in the country.

Politics were aligned accordingly. Last year, the Renewable Energy Resource Zone Project (YEKA) has been launched to promote the targeted expansion of wind projects in certain regions of the country by means of tenders. The first bidding round was won by a Turkish consortium including Siemens Gamesa (as Windfair reported). The expertise thus gained is now also to be used for offshore projects.

Hakan Yildirim, Siemens Gamesa regional manager responsible for Turkey, sees the country well prepared for the future and expects a lot from the planned offshore project: "I consider the plans for the offshore wind farm project a very positive initiative to ensure energy transformation in the mid-run," he recently told Daily Sabah.

The European Wind Energy Association, WindEurope, also sees great potential in Turkey: In addition to the Aegean Sea, wind farms could soon be built in the Black Sea, too. Due to the depth of the waters there, however, only floaters are suitable – a technology that has made technological advances in recent years, but is still considered not yet ready for the market. As soon as this is the case, Turkey will be able to feed off their offshore wind potential of 32,000 MW.

In addition to the problem of water depth, the lack of infrastructure is still standing in the way of many wind projects in the country. The power grid is not up to the challenge of expansion. This is a problem, especially in remote regions. So it will probably take a while before Turkey is able "to upgrade to the premier league in wind power.“

Katrin Radtke
Turkey, Siemens Gamesa, offshore, tender, auction, onshore, WindEurope

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