Although Turkey is one of the countries with the most increasing demand for electricity and the highest solar potential among developing countries; it ranks last in solar power generation (PV). In fact, Turkey is the fourth largest country in the world in terms of solar heating after China, the United States and Germany with a little difference. So while Turkey is so successful in heating water from the sun, why does it last in power generation?
It may come to mind that electric production equipment is much more expensive than water heating. Yes, that’s one of the most important reasons. However, if the cost is at the forefront; water heating capacity would not be too low from Turkey in sunny countries like Greece.
In my opinion, the most important reason is “bureaucracy”. Turkey has done a good thing about solar heating even without knowing. Turkey did not develop a special permit system and bureaucracy for these systems. In other words, people can install and use water heating systems on their roofs in a short period of time without any special permission from anywhere. But it’s not that easy in Europe. Detailed technical and design projects of the system so as not to affect the status of the roof, many studies such as demonstrating that the equipment meets the specified quality standards and obtaining permits needs to be done. Anyone in Turkey, who wants to deal with a company without any need for these procedures, can put water heating systems on its roof in a short time.
So how is the situation in PV? Almost the opposite. In Europe, especially for roof type PV applications, regulations have been standardized and simplified. While, the homeowners can obtain all the necessary permits for PV systems after a few weeks of operations, this is at best four months in Turkey. Even worse; the procedure is the same, even if the system you are going to install is 15 kW and 1.000 kW. The “TEDAŞ approval”which is the highest cost and takes the longest time from PV projects is now required to be scaled and simplified. Considering that the requested detail projects are made by expert firms at prices of 15-20 thousand TL; it is seen that this approval for small systems is sufficient to kill the project by oneself. Of course if your project is 11 kW and above, even it is in Hakkari or Edirne, you have to carry out all the operations at TEDAŞ headquarters in Ankara.
So is it really necessary to project so much detail for roof type PV systems? I don’t think so. Considering that solar panels are standardised and produced in high quality all over the world, a system can be installed that will not require project approval on condition that the installation of PV systems are done by the companies that will be certified by TEDAŞ. In this system that TEDAŞ will only assume the role of controller during the commissioning of the power plants, since the permit processes will accelerate and the costs will decrease, PV applications can become widespread in a short time.
Rumour has it that, a European, who admires Turkey’s success in heating water from the sun, wants to learn the secret of this business from a high-level bureaucrat. While he is expecting that the high incentive costs and the state’s special applications in this field as response, he got the “we didn’t do anything special” for an answer. We use Diogen’s famous saying that “I don’t want any more, just don’t shadow” in other cases, but I guess none of them are suitable as the relationship of the state with PV systems. Cause solar panels don’t work in shadows…