Wind energy has established itself as a leading source of Turkey's diversifying energy mix. Despite recent financial difficulties, the sector is here to stay.

Tamer Çalışır

Board Member & Managing Director, GAMA Enerjİ

When you consider the presence of a euro-supported mechanism, the incentive for governments to encourage renewable investments was not effective for renewable energy because the market price was higher, and there was a need for a constant scheme. For this reason, institutions such as the Energy Market Regulatory Agency (EMRA) changed the mechanism and indexed it to the dollar, a move considered more reputable in terms of developing financing. However, after a few years, changes in market conditions, including increases in installed capacity, decreasing pricing mechanisms, and currency fluctuations, among others, dropped the prices so low that while this mechanism became essential for making new investments, it also had distortionary effects on the market. It damaged the market system somewhat due to the variance among compensation mechanisms, which is why decision makers in current and past governments have been aiming to differentiate the mechanism through auction adjustments and other methods. While we require extra solutions if we are to continue increasing our renewable energy capacity, price is not the only consideration. If there is a support mechanism, it must be designed to be in place for longer than 10 years to act as a financial instrument hedging alternative. When you look at the European alternatives, you note many different mechanisms, all covering longer periods. This makes projects much more bankable on the financing side and should be our principal focus.

Zeki Aybar Eriş

CEO, Polat Enerjİ

Polat Enerjİ got its start as a business in 1999 with the decision to invest in renewable energy because we recognized it would be an economic and environmental necessity for the world and help reduce a country's dependency on imported resources like gas and oil. Second, we recognized the cost of renewable energy equipment would continue to go down over time. We are certain the cost of renewable energy will easily compete with fossil fuels. The third reason is that the renewable energy industry also resulted in an industrial boom for countries investing in it. Germany, Spain, and Denmark, for example, started to manufacture all the equipment for renewable energy generation, which is the next step to reducing import dependency. These countries not only stopped importing fossil fuels but also started manufacturing equipment and technology in country. Looking at all these aspects, we decided investing in renewable energy was the way forward. Indeed, renewable energy is our field, regardless of the means of generation, which includes solar, wind, geothermal, or any other source. EDF Energies Nouvelles—which has been a 45% shareholder of ours since 2008—targets zero-carbon emission investments, which include renewables in every aspect. We have the expertise of EDF and a full procurement, design, yield assessment, and operation team active throughout the world, with thousands of megawatts not only in wind but also in solar.

Burak Kuyan

CEO, Doğan Enerjİ

We started investing in the renewable energy business in 2007, when we acquired two hydroelectric plants as part of a partnership. We moved into renewables because we are focused on future trends and want to have a long-term vision for our group based on where the global market will be, not just in terms of energy but in conscious terms regarding the environment and economy. Renewables are the future, perhaps not the immediate future. But in the long term, wind and solar will be key to our development in the energy business. We currently have two wind assets that we acquired and since enlarged. We went from a total of 126-MW installed capacity in Mersin and Bandırma to 168MW, which will be expanded by another 60MW with a project named Taşpınar WPP in the near future. We have targets for wind power and hope to leave a positive mark here. Regarding solar projects, we have 9.4MW of installed PV capacity in Çorum and recently finished an additional 25-MW project in Erzurum. As for our portfolio going forward, wind and solar will come ahead of hydroelectric generation. In hydro, there is not much development; however, in solar and wind, there is room to grow in terms of technology, especially around storage. With wind, in 10 years the turbines will be upgraded to become much more efficient, which is great for the country and world.