Today, 80% of global energy comes from fossil fuels. Renewable energy sources play the most critical role in reducing dependency on fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. It is one of the sectors that has recently been researched and invested in around the world. Turkey is also working on increasing the use of renewable energy sources.
Solar energy technologies collect the sun’s rays directly. It provides the generation of heat or electricity with these rays.
The source of this energy is the fusion reactions that occur when the hydrogen on the surface of the Sun turns into helium. Solar energy can give light, heat and electricity. Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert solar energy directly into electricity. These systems found on building roofs, appliances, and cars.
Solar thermal collectors, which are widely used in Turkey, are also useful for water heating. Solar energy is an important energy alternative in countries that receive a lot of sun, such as Turkey. This technology is particularly useful for off-grid electricity generation in rural areas.
According to Turkey’s Solar Energy Potential Atlas (according to the Atlas of Solar Energy Potential of Turkey prepared by the Ministry of Energy, the total annual sunshine duration is 2,737 hours. This provides a total of 1,527 kWh/m² year renewable energy source. In addition, many energy companies in Turkey serve in the field of solar panels production.
Wind as Renewable Energy Source
Wind energy results from the differential heating of the earth’s surfaces by solar radiation. There are wind turbines to generate electricity from wind energy and windmills to generate mechanical energy.
Wind energy meets 2% of the world’s electricity needs today. Compared to other electricity generation techniques, wind turbine technologies have little harmful effect on the environment.
Turkey is also a rich country in terms of wind energy potential. Electricity generation with grid-connected wind energy started in Turkey in 1998. Especially since 2005, after the Renewable Energy Law enacted, wind-dependent renewable energy sources have increased. Turkey’s annual wind energy production amount is 11,552 GWh. There are also windmill and wind turbine manufacturers in Turkey.
Geothermal Renewble Energy Sources
The use of geothermal energy dates back to ancient times in human history. The great potential of this energy source rediscovered. When the heat level is high enough, geothermal energy produces high-grade water for electricity generation and industry. Unlike solar and wind, geothermal energy can provide continuous electricity.
There are 17 fields with potential suitable for electricity generation in Turkey. The installed capacity producing in these fields is 91.7 MWe. When the development works of all these fields completed, the renewable energy sources capacity in Turkey will increased to 630 MWe.
Hydroelectric power plants produce electrical energy by using the potential energy difference between two points where water is present. The water accumulated in the dam dropped down from a certain height and transformed into mechanical energy. This mechanical energy turns the tribune wheels and turns into electrical energy by the generator motor. Hydropower is currently the largest renewable energy source in the world. It meets almost one-fifth of the world’s electricity needs.
Hydroelectric power plants divided into dam or river type. While dam-type power plants store water, river-type power plants use the kinetic energy of the flowing water.
Hydroelectric energy is among the most established renewable energy power plants in Turkey. Due to its geographical structure, Turkey is rich in water resources and has a rugged land structure. Electrical energy released thanks to the water flowing from a height. There are hydroelectric power plants and dams in many parts of Turkey. Rich water resources and streams provide intensive electricity generation. The largest renewable energy source that meets the country’s electricity needs is hydroelectric power plants.
Bioenergy derived from biomass in liquid biofuel, waste (including domestic waste), solid biomass or gaseous forms. Theoretically, it is possible to re-grow plants used for energy production. Therefore, biomass is a renewable energy source. But the uncontrolled development of bioenergy products can have huge impacts on people and the environment.
Biomass energy is a less used renewable energy source in Turkey. Fuels such as biodiesel and biogas produced by using the carbon and nitrogen balance in natural resources. In Turkey, biodiesel is produced by transforming sunflowers. In addition to this plant, wheat, corn and fertilizer are also used. Besides, biomass energy is produced by burning garbage and other wastes such as agriculture.