Türkiye’s Hybrid Projects Help Solar Surpass Wind Capacity with 11.7 GW


Hybrid power projects are emerging as key players in Türkiye’s pursuit of solar energy goals because of their capability to generate electricity from both primary and secondary sources connected to the grid at the same location, an energy think tank, Ember, reported.

The implementation of hybrid power projects and the conversion of existing power projects to hybrids where solar is the secondary source became possible in Türkiye through a regulatory amendment in 2020.

As of the end of 2023, solar was the secondary source for all 240 operational and planned hybrid power projects in Türkiye.

The strategic integration of solar power provides additional electricity generation, optimizing infrastructure costs by connecting to the grid from the same point as the primary source.

According to the report, hybrid solar power projects can help Türkiye achieve its clean energy targets by allowing solar potential to be utilized together with other renewable generation.

The report delves into the installed capacity, project pipeline, and allocated grid capacity of hybrid solar power projects in Türkiye as of the end of 2023.

Solar Capacity Surpasses Wind

Officially reported installed capacity statistics indicate Türkiye’s solar capacity reaching 11.7 GW and wind capacity at 11.8 GW by the end of 2023. However, these figures exclude the secondary solar capacity installed in hybrid power projects.

According to the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA), Türkiye has incorporated 510 MW of secondary solar capacity as of 2024, propelling total solar capacity to surpass wind at 12.2 GW.

Ember report on Turkey Hybrid Solar

Ember states that the absence of hybrid capacity in official statistics undermines the accuracy of analysis and planning. Constituting 4.2% of total installed solar capacity, the inclusion of hybrid solar capacity in official statistics is crucial for a more comprehensive understanding of Türkiye’s renewable energy landscape.

Hybrid solar capacity predominantly integrates with wind power installations, with 63% of the secondary solar capacity installed in 14 projects where wind serves as the primary source.

The synergy between solar and wind, characterized by their inverse hourly generation patterns, allows for a more stable generation profile in wind-solar hybrid power projects.

While hydro comes second after wind with 80 MW of secondary installed solar capacity, all of this capacity is concentrated in the Aşağı Kaleköy Hydroelectric Power Project (HEPP), the sole hydro-solar hybrid project in Türkiye.

Regional Concentration and Hybrid Solar Generation

Hybrid power projects are distributed across 28 provinces in Türkiye, with significant capacity concentrated in specific regions.

Provinces such as Uşak, Bingöl, and Sivas host the highest hybrid solar capacity, accounting for 42% of the total installed capacity. Furthermore, Konya and Karaman, featuring both wind and high solar potential, contribute an additional 15% to the overall capacity.

The estimated annual generation of hybrid solar power projects, considering installed capacity and solar potential, is close to 800 GWh. This represents 4.2% of Türkiye’s total solar energy production in 2023.

The report noted that despite regulatory amendments in October 2023, which require reporting electricity generation from secondary sources and distinguishing solar and wind capacities at the regional level, challenges persist.

Hybrid solar generation data remains included as part of the primary source in official data before November 2023, impacting the accuracy of past generation records.

According to the report, despite the challenges, Türkiye’s hybrid solar capacity holds promise. With permitting processes completed for a capacity four times the current installed capacity, there is 1.9 GW of approved hybrid solar capacity yet to be installed, equivalent to 16% of all installed solar capacity in the country.

Floating Solar as a Catalyst for Hybrid Capacity Development

Exploring the potential of floating solar, Türkiye currently has 80 GW of untapped capacity. Despite this, no floating solar projects have been integrated into hybrid power projects, except for the Aşağı Kaleköy HEPP with ground-mounted solar modules.

Türkiye took a significant step towards utilizing floating solar potential through a bill submitted in January that allowed floating solar installations on dammed hydro reservoirs.

The bill paved the way for the designation of renewable energy resource areas on power project reservoirs, enabling floating solar tenders alongside the installation of secondary solar capacity on water surfaces at hybrid power plants.

Transparent and Comprehensive Energy Strategy

While Türkiye has made strides in incorporating hybrid power projects into its energy landscape, challenges persist, including the need for transparent capacity allocation processes and comprehensive planning.

A regulatory amendment in October 2023 addressing solar and wind capacities at the regional level was a positive step.

Ember stated that for Türkiye to reach its 53 GW solar capacity target by 2035, a holistic energy strategy that considers the role of hybrid power projects and floating solar power and anticipates their installations is crucial.

The journey to unlock Türkiye’s solar potential continues, with hybrid power projects poised to be instrumental in achieving the nation’s renewable energy ambitions.

In an earlier webinar hosted by Mercom India, industry experts discussed how wind-solar hybrid projects are a practical solution to tackle the intermittency issues of standalone wind and solar energy sources and are poised to play a critical role as a generation source going forward.

Mercom earlier reported the top developments that influenced the wind and hybrid power market in India during 2023.