London-based energy think tank Ember has released a new analysis that highlights the significant solar potential in Turkey's southeastern region, particularly in provinces like Konya, which accounted for 21% of the country's solar generation in 2022.
The report states that Turkey's high solar potential can help the country meet its clean energy targets and reduce its dependence on expensive imported gas. Currently, hydroelectric power is the main source of renewable electricity in Turkey, but droughts make this source volatile for renewable generation.
Ember's analysis indicates that Turkey needs to incentivize solar deployment in its underutilized southern and southeastern provinces, where potential and actual solar generation is mismatched, to achieve its solar energy goals. The national energy plan aims to increase solar capacity to become Turkey's largest energy source by 2035, rising from 9.4 GW in 2022 to 52.9 GW by 2035. However, Ember warns that annual solar capacity additions will need to triple from current levels to achieve this target.
Last year, only ten provinces accounted for half of the solar generation, with Konya accounting for the largest share at 21%. The shares of high-potential provinces like Antalya and Van are only 3% and 2%, respectively.
According to the analysis, 'Turkey will need to incentivize solar in its underutilized southern and southeastern provinces to reach its goal of 3–4 GW of added solar capacity per year.'
Among the provinces with the highest solar potential are Kahramanmaraş, Adıyaman, Malatya, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Mardin, Kilis and Van in the southeast, while Mersin, Karaman, Niğde, Aksaray, Antalya, Burdur and Muğla rank among the highest solar potential provinces in the country.