Analysis: Turkey embraces wind power

February 4, 2008

Energy Daily, via UPI: In an era of record high oil prices, many countries increasingly are turning to alternative fuels, including biofuel, solar energy and wind power. This pattern is typically pronounced in Turkey, forced to import more than 90 percent of its energy needs, with energy suppliers that are not only expensive, but erratic.

In 2006, Turkey spent $29 billion on energy imports, primarily from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia. High prices and fickle suppliers have stimulated Turkey’s growing interest in wind power. Turkish interest in alternative fuels has been spurred by recent events….

A measure of Ankara’s determination to free itself from the grip of avaricious, erratic energy suppliers is a dramatic rise in governmental interest in wind power, which is illustrated in government figures. While in 2006, wind power in Turkey generated 19 megawatts of electricity, last year Turkey’s 10 wind farms produced nearly 140 megawatts, a 736 percent increase.

Turkey’s interest in renewable energy dates back to 2005, when the Turkish Grand National Assembly passed a renewable energy law harmonizing government legislation with European Union legislation to support renewable sources, including wind power. The new law provided a government guarantee to purchase electricity at a set price for seven years….