Are Turkey’s PV Plans for 2023 Vision Good Enough to Achieve Economic Targets?

Energy and energy dependence are two of the key elements for a country’s economic success. Decreasing costs of renewable energies and current climate concerns lead to a renewable-based energy production. Considering population growth, thus increasing energy demand, investing in renewables is a major factor on industrial and economic productivity.

Turkey has been an energy dependent country for a long time, averagely 74.5 percent between 2010-2016, and the country met its energy demands from fossil fuels by 85.2 percent in 2016. This causes a heavy economic burden, which could be saved if the country could supply its demands itself. According to the Turkey 2023 vision, Turkey aims to be in the top 10 economies in the World by 2023. Turkey wants to evaluate its high solar potential and use opportunity to achieve its economic targets.

The question remains whether Turkey’s solar PV investments are good enough to achieve its targets. Of course, PV investments alone cannot determine anything, but it is important to make sure PV and energy targets are achieved, not only for economic reasons but for energy, environmental and climatic reasons too. To follow is data about installed PV capacities and their shares in total energy production, along with consumptions and all 2030 forecasts. Each table is explained and an estimation is made, whether Turkey’s PV targets are achievable and it will be contributing for its economic targets for 2030.

Table 1: Top 20 Economies in 2017 and 2022 Forecasts by IMF

To put it simply, Turkey needs to pass Canada in five years, assuming other countries will stagnate during this time. According to IMF, the current GDP difference between Canada and Turkey is US$800 billion and is estimated to be even higher in 2023; US$920 billion. Although 2023 Vision targets may not be achieved, is Turkey’s investments in PV enough to contribute this target? Until 2023 or 2030 forecasts, Turkey’s solar contribution on net energy production/consumption must be better than Canada’s. In order to give further information, full data of top 10 economies follow to hold light for further studies or countries. According to the PV power potential map below, Turkey has better potential (land areas are neglected) than the following countries;

  • Japan
  • Germany
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada

Figure 1: Solar Radiation Map

PV and Energy Development

Table 2: Countries’ PV Capacity in 2011 and Net Additions until 2016

Since 2011, Canada leads by a big margin, and Turkey installed 1.42 MWp less than Canada, despite its abundant solar potential, which should have been an incentive to focus on this source already. Turkey’s development over the years is promising, yet far behind. In 2016, Turkey installed 357.5 MWp more and the main reasons for that are Canada’s higher investments previously made and Turkey’s recent serious policies.

Table 3: PV Installation 2030 Forecasts and Production Shares

According to IRENA REMap 2030 forecasts, Turkey will still have less PV installed capacity than Canada, but Turkey’s PV will have a bigger share in total capacity than Canada’s. However, Turkey’s electricity production from PV will be less efficient than Canada by 3.85 TWh from PV and 68.89 TWh in total production. Considering Turkey’s radiation, this must be noted as a serious point they have to address.

Table 4: 2030 Electricity Consumption Forecasts

According to forecasts, Turkey will decrease its consumption by 22.7 percent, while Canada decreases by 27.5 percent. According to the efficiency issues mentioned, Turkey must make a bigger decrease in consumption, including energy losses.

Table 5: 2030 Electricity Generation Forecasts

The difference between Canada and Turkey in electricity production was 390.3 TWh in 2016 and decreasing to 241 TWh in 2030 forecasts. Also, Canada increases its electricity production by 18.4 percent, while Turkey increases by 99.5 percent. To this point, Turkey seems to improve greatly. It will be significant if Turkey also improves energy efficiency.


  1. Difference between installed PV capacities will increase from 1.4 GWp to 2 GWp in favor of Canada, and Turkey will recover this difference from its better solar radiation potential.
  2. Canada’s energy efficiency in PV will be better than Turkey.
  3. Turkey’s and Canada’s energy production/consumption ratio are both 0.17 and Turkey will increase this ratio to 0.44 and Canada to 0.28 if REMap 30 scenarios come true.
  4. Turkey will have better production/consumption status by 2030 but it is not from PV investments.
  5. Turkey’s PV policies will not help them achieve their 2023 targets, in comparison to Canada’s PV status.


  1. Turkey should not stick to 2023 Vision only and set road maps for 2030, 2050 and 2070.
  2. Turkey must use its advantage of being considerably new in PV and prioritize energy efficiency.
  3. Turkey must not be satisfied with 3.31 percent of total electricity production from PV and try to set it to 8 perent by 2030 and to 2050 by 12 percent.
  4. Turkey must have much more than 11 GWp installed capacity, although its target is 5 GWp.

Lead image credit: CC0 Creative Commons | Pixabay

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Ph.D. Candidate (Environmental and Energy Engineering) at People’s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) (Moscow, Russia) Ph.D. Candidate (Management Engineering) at Bahçeşehir University (Istanbul, Turkey)

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