25 Sep

Turkey aims to utilize its energy potential, including renewable sources in a cost-effective manner. Today, Turkey targets the share of renewable resources in electricity generation to be at least 30 % by 2023. To meet this, current incentive mechanism for renewables relies on feed-in tariff mainly in solar and wind power. Numbers of renewable energy projects have been increasing since 2010 in Turkey.  After energy revolution in 2010, remarkable deals have been substantiated in the last years. There have been several projects pending before administrative authorities to be approved. However, numbers of the projects are still not at the desired level.

Notwithstanding, renewable power is the main target that will save Turkey from its energy import dependence. There are many options for investors planning to generate electricity from renewable energy sources so that the first step is to find a proper land for renewable energy projects.

Land Allocation Process

Choice of project areas and land allocation are very significant issues for energy projects. These processes are named as “pre-construction phase” and fundamental part of required land allocation procedures are operated by Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA). In the scope of a renewable energy project,

  • Classification of lands
  • Determination of ownership status of lands
  • Implementing the steps of approval, permission, decision and registration processes are considered on a preferential basis.

Generally there are two types of lands which are private and public (treasury) lands in Turkey.  Private lands or public lands can be allocated by EMRA in several circumstances. EMRA is authorized to expropriate lands in the scope of Electricity Markey Law but the procedures will be applied in terms of Turkish Expropriation Law.

Power plants and power transmission lines can be subject to EMRA’s expropriation process. EMRA will take a decision of public utilities and the Ministry of Finance will take an expropriation decision on a certain land. After these procedures fulfilled, right of usage (usufruct) will be granted to legal entity of pre-license or license holder.

If a land is a private, license or pre-license holder (must be a legal entity) can apply EMRA for expropriation. In this stage, EMRA takes the “decision of public utilities” and consequently General Directorate of National Estate, a department of Ministry of Finance, operates and concludes expropriation process.

On the other hand, the process of non-licensed power generation is much easier than licensed power generation process since persons or legal entities who operate non-licensed power generation will be applying to General Directorate of National Estate and Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TETC- TEIAS) directly instead of EMRA.

Treasury Land, Private Land or Land Development?

Choosing a proper land is the most significant issue for an investor since the right land will also provide and increase a proper electricity generation. Due to bureaucracy, procedures and several transactions which must be applied in the land allocation process, buying a land and developing it seems easier, simpler and faster compared to expropriation of a treasury land. Considering application for expropriation will take at least one year and possibility of tender which will be made by Treasury, by gaining a private land legal procedures and approval process will be completed in a shorter span of time with less bureaucracy. Besides, in case of any local producer applies for the proposed land local producer will have priority to be tendered if the Treasury initiates a tender for the land allocation.

In addition, an investor may easily operate and develop a land which will be bought by right legal and technical guidance by wasting less money.

Where to locate Energy Power Plant  

Turkey has very suitable lands for both wind and solar power generation. To begin with wind power land opportunities, Turkey has very high wind energy potential. Reports show that Turkey has approximately 166 TWh a year of wind potential. Today, installed capacity from wind power has reached 3,000 MWs and approximately 1,000 MWSs of capacity is under construction, which is very low for a country which has above mentioned volume wind potential. The places where wind speed is enough will be the best place to construct for the wind power plants. For instance, places which have wind speed of over 7 m/s can be a suitable place for a wind power generation investor. Turkey has this speed in the places which are over 50 m (approximately 164 ft). Western Marmara (e.g. Çanakkale, Balıkesir) and Southern Turkey (e.g. Mersin, Hatay) are the several places attracting both international and national wind energy investors’ interests in these days.

Solar is the most important alternation clean energy recourse in Turkey. The yearly average solar radiation is 1311 kWh/m2 and 3,6 kWh/m2. The total yearly insulation period is approximately 7.2 hours per day. Regions in Central Anatolia such as Konya, Karaman, Aksaray have been attracting both national and international solar investors. However, since there are numerous projects pending before public authorities in these places, other places in Turkey such as Antalya, Sivas, Muğla have been inspiring investors’ interest due to structure of land, slope and distance from the grid.


Herdem Law Firm, Istanbul Turkey

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