Turkey Sees ‘Huge’ Clean-Energy Investment as Demand Bucks Trend

Turkey expects “huge” investments in renewable power in the next 10 years as growth in energy demand outpaces economic expansion, a government official said.

Turkey needs to spend $10 billion on new power generation every year until 2023 to double capacity from the current 55 gigawatts, Deputy Energy Minister Hasan Murat Mercan said today at a conference in Vienna.

“We expect huge investments in the coming years” to fund projects in wind, solar, hydropower, biomass and geothermal energy, he said. “Investing in renewables is one of the most important aspects” of supporting economic growth, he said.

Turkey, which depends on fossil-fuel imports for about 90 percent of its energy needs, has lured international investors including General Electric Co. (GE) and Siemens AG (SIE) to its power industry as the regulator forecasts annual demand growth of 6.3 percent in the next two decades. The country is bucking the trend of most emerging European nations, where retail electricity consumption is trailing growth in incomes.

GE, which has already opened the 22.5-megawatt Sares wind farm and 10-megawatt Karadag site, said in November it would also supply turbines to Fina Enerji Holding AS for 97 megawatts of projects. Siemens said in October it would supply turbines to a 50-megawatt wind farm and expects more Turkish orders.

Turkey has potential to install about 40,000 megawatts of wind-power capacity at onshore projects, with 11,000 megawatts already licensed, Mercan said today.

While economic growth fell to 1.6 percent in the third quarter, Turkey forecasts 4 percent growth in 2013, compared with a 0.2 percent contraction in the euro area, based on International Monetary Fund projections.

To contact the reporters on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.net; Gelu Sulugiuc in Copenhagen at gsulugiuc@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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