Dario Dilucia La Perna, chief engineer for TurSEFF and one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming Solar Now Turkey conference
, said that the fund is increasingly interested in solar PV because of the sheer number of commercial applicants who want to enter the market. TurSEFF provides credit to banks with an aim to stimulate energy efficiency for commercial clients, small and medium size enterprises, and agriculture workers.
“It’s actually booming,” Mr. La Perna said. “There are a lot of applications from the market to evaluate PV projects. Solar PV will be for sure a good component of our project portfolio in the future.”
While TurSeff, along with a small number of government organizations, is at the vanguard of the push to finance these projects, there are still many challenges.
Murat Çolakoğlu of PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the content partners of Solar Now Turkey on 26 November in Istanbul, said that solar projects are unlikely to secure financing on similar terms to wind projects in Turkey: For instance, with a debt to equity ratio of 80 to 20 and a loan maturity of 10-12 years.
“Given the current feed-in tariff, capacity factors and investment costs of solar power plants, we are more likely to observe lower debt-equity ratios for the time being. Debt-equity ratios may increase as the investment costs of solar power plants decrease with improvements in solar technology,” he said.
Yonca Ercumen, an energy efficiency expert and local engineer for TurSeff said that the price per project ranges. In Turkey, costs are generally about 1,300 euros per kilowatt.
One of the factors involved in financing is the kind of PV-systems used, Mr. La Perna said. For instance, are Chinese systems being used or systems from European countries?
TurSeff has provided 1.7 million euros for PV projects since September 2012, Mr. La Perna said.
Financing challenges aside, there are still many investment opportunities for solar PV in Turkey.
Mr. Colakoglu said that there are opportunities in both the licensed and unlicensed solar PV segments. In June, Turkey's Energy Market Regulatory Authority received applications totaling 9,000MW for a 600MW capacity. Unlicensed power generation facilities have started operations in several distribution regions already, he said.
“European project developers have approached us inquiring about the opportunities for installations on the roof of a supermarket or manufacturing facility. Such distributed power projects can be beneficial for supply security.”
A new law passed in early October that allows unlicensed solar PV systems producing up to 1MW to sell their surplus to the government creates good opportunities for investors. The attraction of self-sustaining from solar PV and indeed profiting from it guarantees that the sector will grow.
It is now a straightforward procedure to sell electricity to the government, once the project is completed and connected to the national grid, according to Özlem Döğerlioğlu Işıksungur of Döğerlioğlu law firm.
“I think renewable energy will be the most important part of energy production in Turkey. We need time, within three years, especially the solar market will develop very fast,” Döğerlioğlu said.
“I think we are at the beginning of the solar market and the process is really new for everyone.”
Solarplaza translated the Regulation and Communique on Implementation of the Regulation Related with Unlicensed Electricity Generation.
Solar Now Turkey
) is a three day high-level B2B conference, completely focused on the development of solar energy projects in the unlicensed segment in Turkey. The conference will be attended by over 100 international and local (solar) energy stakeholders and takes place from 25 to 27 November in the Istanbul Marriott Asia Hotel.
Solarplaza (www.solarplaza.com ) is an international platform that organises top-level conferences, seminars and trade missions around the globe. Its mission is to empower the solar industry. The platform www.solarplaza.com provides and shares knowledge, networking opportunities and information. Solarplaza firmly believes in a renewable future: a future built upon the power of solar energy. Since the founding of Solarplaza in 2004, it has built up an extensive network of valuable friends, associates, business contacts and solar experts.