15 Nisan 2013 Pazartesi

Building firms take baby steps in green buildings

There are only 40 certified “green buildings” in Turkey and the country should focus more on this concept when renovating old buildings, according to the head of the Turkish Green Building Council.

Such buildings use between 24 percent and 50 percent less energy, cut CO2 emissions by 33 percent to 39 percent and reduce water use by 40 percent and waste by up to 70 percent, Haluk Sur told the Hürriyet Daily News on the eve of World Green Buildings week, which started yesterday.

Another 150 buildings are candidates for certification, Sur said, adding that the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) of the U.K. and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) of the U.S. were popular in Turkey.

“A sum of 190 buildings might seem very low, but the sector is growing fast if the acceleration in the number of certified green buildings is considered,” he said.

There are both local and foreign companies that favor constructing green buildings, he added.

Green housing market hit $50 billion in 2010

The global green housing market, which stood at $3 billion in 2005, according to McGraw-Hill figures, reached $50 billion in 2010, and the research company predicts a volume of $120 billion in 2015.

“Turkey is just at the starting point regarding green buildings,” Sur said. “But the environment is gaining importance in social responsibility projects, particularly in terms of recycling and waste.”
The organization has gained the support of the Urban Ministry and is in talks with the Energy Ministry for the foundation of a national green housing certification, according to Sur. Such a system will help certification revenues stay in the country, he said. These are the criteria for such a certification: Unified project management, plot use, water use, energy use, health and comfgfort, raw material and resource use, life in housing, management and maintenance.

The organization also looks to the Urban Ministry, state-run property developer TOKİ and related chambers and universities to contribute to the development of a national certification.

The Energy Efficiency Strategy Document published in the Official Gazette on Feb. 25, 2012, already requires sustainability criteria from buildings larger than 10,000 square meters. This week World Green Buildings Week is celebrated in 90 countries. The local organization is holding panel discussions within the scope of the week at Özyeğin University, which claims to have a green campus in Çekmeköy on the outskirts of Istanbul.

The Turkish Green Building Council will hold its second Green Buildings Summit on Feb. 18 and 19, 2013, in a bid to raise awareness about the issue.


Some 45 percent of the 19 million houses in Turkey are over 35 years old. About 10 million houses across the country are set to be renewed within the scope of the government’s urban transformation program, which entered into force earlier this month. Transforming all existing housing parks into green areas will create an economy of up to $1 trillion, Haluk Sur forecasts. This figure may go even higher due to the rise in population, urban transformation and the contribution of sub-sectors.

The country needs over 600,000 houses every year, reaching a total of 7.5 million by 2023. If only 2 or 3 percent of these houses went green, this would save water and energy worth $470 million, Sur projects. Despite the fact that environmentally-friendly buildings are more expensive to construct, the savings they make in energy would soon compensate this, he said.

30 Ocak 2012 Pazartesi

State moves forward in renewable energy

The Energy Market Regulator (EPDK) has announced measurement requirements for applications for sun and wind energy stations. Private companies applying for an authorization to build new energy stations must provide the EPDK with wind and sun measurements for six months at a particular location and one year’s worth of experimental data that has been approved by the Turkish State Meteorological Service. Wind measurements will be taken using wind measurement poles at least 60 meters high off the ground at the possible energy station sites, according to the EPDK specifications. 10 million euro investmentEPDK President Hasan Köktaş told Anatolian news agency that the measurements were a critical part of the investment process; after receiving the measurements this year, they plan to accept applications for the sun energy stations. According to Köktaş, the EPDK is initially aiming for an 11,000-megawatt wind energy project that will later be expanded to 20,000 megawatts. For sun energy, the EPDK is projecting a 600-megawatt target, which could be increased to 10,000 megawatts. This would require a roughly 10 million-euro investment in total. On average 1 megawatt of power can supply electricity to as many as 300 U.S. households per year. According to TurkStat figures, the average person in Turkey consumes 540 kilowatts of electricity in one year.

28 Ocak 2012 Cumartesi

US asks for transparency in Turkish nuclear bids

A more transparent and open regulatory environment for the nuclear sector would be more encouraging for American companies that wish to invest in this field, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said. “Your energy minister [Taner Yıldız] wants to encourage American firms in the nuclear sector. We think that is great, too. The regulatory environment in Turkey, however, discourages American companies from coming because the nuclear sector is wide open around in the world, but is still closed in Turkey,” Ricciardone told Ankara bureau chiefs of various newspapers late Jan. 25. Turkey is planning to build three nuclear power plants in the next decade, totaling 4500 MWe, in the provinces of Akkuyu, Mersin and in Sinop. Turkey and Russia signed an agreement for the construction of the first plant, but talks with Japan for the second plant were suspended after the earthquake in Japan last year. However, U.S. companies do not seem interested in entering this field in Turkey. This is because of poor tender conditions, according to Michael Camunez, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, who called on Turkey to adopt an internationally approved tender process in order to attract American companies, during a visit to Ankara last month. “The regulations should be open and clear. There needs to be a strong and independent regulatory institution with long-term purchase contract,” Camunez told reporters. “We have a conversation going on about opening the regulatory environment here to encourage American and foreign investment in the nuclear sector,” Ricciardone said. Citing the energy sector as an important field in which Turkish and American companies could cooperate, he said, “If you do not grow in generation capability, transmission and distribution there will be a bottleneck. It will hold you back. We are keenly interested in American companies and investors participating.”Trade up 35 percentLast December, a U.S. delegation visited Turkey to examine the opportunities for investment and trade in the renewable energy sector. Ricciardone said the Turkish government wanted to encourage American firms in the nuclear sector.In the overall economic partnership between the governments and companies of the two countries, Ricciardone drew a more optimistic picture. Bilateral trade is likely to show an increase of more than 35 percent in the year 2011, he said. “We had great success last year. The trade between Turkey and the U.S. when the final figures are in, which we won’t have for the full calendar year, will probably show an increase better than 35 percent, maybe more,” he said. “President [Barack] Obama, and Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and President [Abdullah] Gül have agreed that we need to advance our economic relationship to the level of our strategic defense and diplomatic relationship, and that is what we are targeting,” Ricciardone said. “We want to do even better in 2012. We want to strengthen and exploit the opportunity, to use that framework for bringing the two governments and the two business sectors together.January/28/2012

27 Ocak 2012 Cuma

US-Dutch firm to build Europe's biggest solar plant in Turkey

A U.S.-Dutch solar company has started talks with a local energy firm to build Turkey’s first and Europe’s biggest photovoltaic power station GiraSolar, a U.S.-Dutch solar company, has begun talks with a local energy firm to build Turkey’s first and Europe’s biggest photovoltaic power station while also manufacturing solar panels for export to Europe.“We are planning to build Europe’s biggest solar plant in Turkey,” Chief Executive Officer Wieland M. Koornstra told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review during a Dutch business mission to Istanbul last week. The mission, which included representatives from 22 companies, was led by Henk Bleker, the Dutch minister for agriculture and foreign trade.Noting the importance of Turkey in the world’s solar energy sector, Koornstra said GiraSolar had held talks with a Turkish energy giant on building a solar power station in the south of Turkey. He said the plant would generate 100 megawatts of energy.The largest photovoltaic, or PV, power plants in Europe were Montalto di Castro Photovoltaic Power Station in Italy (84.2 MW), Finsterwalde Solar Park in Germany, (80.7 MW), Rovigo Photovoltaic Power Plant in Italy (70 MW), Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park in Spain (60 MW), Strasskirchen Solar Park (54 MW) and Lieberose Photovoltaic Park in Germany (53 Mwat the end of 2010.On average, 1 MW of power can supply electricity to as many as 300 households per year.Koornstra said the company planned to manufacture the solar panels in Turkey rather than importing.“I am completely sure that we could manufacture the panels at the same price as China,” he said. “In this way, we would avoid the transportations cost as well.”Noting that there is no solar panel market yet in Turkey, Koornstra said: “We are planning to export the solar panels to European countries. Many firms will inquire about Turkish-made solar panels once we complete this solar power station project in the country.”According to the Turkish Renewable Energy Law, the purchase price for electricity generated from solar power is $0.133 per kilowatt hour. The law also offers a further incentive to renewable energy facilities and states that, provided the technical equipment used in the facility is produced within Turkey’s borders, the facility will be paid an additional $0.004-0.024 per kilowatt hour of electricity purchased by the state for five years after the plant becomes active.[HH] Turkish partner anonymousWithout disclosing the name of the company, Koornstra said: “We are [currently] having discussions with our Turkish partner about the project. At the start of the project nearly 200 million euros will be invested in the power plant.”According to data provided by the chief executive, 20 percent of the amount is slated to be invested by the business partner while nearly 80 percent of the amount could be met with outsource sources, such as Eximbank credits. “We are now also discussing the financial matter with our Turkish partner,” he said.“To produce 1 MW electricity we will need nearly 2,000 square meters of land,” said Koornstra. “We are in search of the most feasible location at the moment.”Noting that the project might be completed gradually over time depending on conditions, Koornstra said, “We could build the plant within two years.”“It takes four to five years to build a nuclear plant. Nearly 20 percent of the total amount of the investment will come from our partner and 80 percent financing will be outsourced,” said Koornstra. “If we build this plant, this would make Turkey known as the solar source of the world.”In the long term, it is better for Turks to have solar panels in their houses than buy power from the grid, he said.Talking about the nuclear plant to be built in Akkuyu, in the southern province of Mersin, Koornstra said, “Turkey should use hybrid energy rather than relying on nuclear energy.”“They always told us that it was safe and stable and now it’s obvious that it’s neither safe nor stable,” he said.Koornstra said Germany and the Netherlands were facing storage problems for nuclear waste accumulated through the years. “They both stored nuclear waste in layers under the ground and they have leakage.”Noting that hybrid energy sources such as wind and solar plants are safe and sustainable for the economy and environment, Koornstra said solar power had become more affordable in recent years, adding that such power presented none of the running costs, storage problems or maintenance problems of nuclear plants.Recent research at Duke University has shown that sophisticated new solar energy production methods make the cheapest and least hazardous energy source that is cheaper and safer than nuclear power, according to United Press International, or UPI. The study said the cost of producing and installing PV cells had been steadily dropping for years and now cost about half of what it did in 1998.In the U.S., the price of nuclear energy through 2011 is expected to equal $0.16-0.18 per kilowatt while solar PV is forecast to cost $0.14 per kilowatt, the study said.

Turkey’s Solimpeks Wins Certification for Hybrid Solar Panels

I recently installed a fan in my roof to pump out the hot air from the attic and help keep the house cooler during the summer. I also have a solar panel on the roof to produce hot water. It seems logical that the solar energy harnessed for the water heater should also be able to provide electricity to operate the fan, right? Well, it turns out it’s not that simple – so until I install a separate photovoltaic (PV) solar panel on the roof, the fan will be plugged into an electric socket instead.It would be nice to have a single solar panel capable of producing both hot water and electricity. A Turkish company, Solimpeks Solar Energy Corp., is producing precisely this type of combined system, and has now been awarded MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certification for its Volther hybrid system.According to the company’s communication director, Kemal Ibis, it is the only product to receive such certification for both solar thermal and solar electricity. “This certification will help us to ramp up to sell in the UK because in England it’s compulsory for selling and getting into the Feed-In Tariff program in both the solar electricity and solar thermal scheme,” he explained in an email.According to Ibis, the hybrid system costs approximately 20% less than installing separate systems for PV and solar hot water – and it looks nicer on the roof than a set of two different panels. In addition, the combined system is said to offer higher PV efficiency and durability by keeping the solar collectors cooler.Solimpeks produces two types of Volther hybrid systems, one (PowerVolt) optimized for electricity production and another (PowerTherm) optimized for hot water production. So far, the company has installed systems in Turkey and Western Europe, and is planning to launch in other markets.

Woman Builds Off-Grid Earth Bag Home in Turkey for $3,761

Everybody’s talking about earth bag construction lately, including The National, which reported this weekend that a British woman has built an earth bag home a la Iranian architecture Nader Khalili. Using dirt from her own 6,500 square foot plot of land, the artist and writer filled dozens of polypropylene sacks that were then stacked to create a striking circular structure overlooking Turkey’s magical Olympos Valley. Despite disbelieving critics, Kerry Bingham’s home is durable and doesn’t melt when it rains. Bingham told The National that building her own off-grid home was inspired by a desire to become more mindful of her consumption habits. ”My goal,” she says, “is to change my lifestyle, to be aware of how I consume and how I can consume in a more responsible way.”Not only has she built a house using locally-sourced and sustainable materials – including lime plaster that has yet to be applied to the outer wall, but she has slashed her carbon and water footprint in other meaningful ways as well.Bingham is building a compost toilet (with a view) that requires absolutely no water to function, and any grey water that she does use for washing dishes and clothes will be recycled after it goes through an on-site constructed wetland that relies on nature to filter out harmful impurities.She also intends to build a water pump that relies solely on power from the sun to function.Unlike the splashy steel and glass monstrosities popping up all over the Middle East, this project genuinely deserves the stamp “sustainable.” And the building’s flat roof and additional doorway also leaves room for expansion .The neighbor – a pomegranate farmer named Dudu – was not convinced of the merits of earth bag construction, but the resiliency of Bingham’s pride and joy has had a transformative effect on all of its critics.

25 Ocak 2012 Çarşamba


Turkey has
become one of the fastest growing energy markets in the world in parallel to its
economic growth registered in the last eight years and is rapidly gaining a
competitive structure. The Turkish Electricity Transmission Company estimates
that Turkey’s demand for electricity will increase at an annual rate of six
percent between 2009 and 2023. The growing energy demand in Turkey is one of the
significant factors along with market liberalization and the country’s potential
role as an energy terminal in its region. These three factors play an important
role in shaping the investment opportunities in Turkey.
The increase in demand has given rise to the long-term investments made by
the private sector. At this point, the Turkish energy sector registered a rapid
growth after the liberalization of the energy market. In line with the
implementation of regulations and the high increase in demand, the electricity
market enlarged its capacity to attract investments to the market.
The Turkish government encourages investors to implement energy projects in
Turkey with new incentives on renewable energy. This ensures that the
government’s feed-in tariff will accelerate investment projects in the coming
The Turkish energy market offers a wide range of activities, from crude oil
exploration to oil and petrochemical products distribution and exports, and from
electricity generation based on all known energy sources to machinery and
equipment manufacturing.
The total amount of investments to be made to meet the energy demand in
Turkey until 2023 is estimated around USD 130 billion.
Turkey functions as an important energy terminal in its region due to its
strategic location between Asia and Europe.
Turkey possesses a significant number of rivers and lakes (with
approximately 36,000 MW of energy potential), which offers ideal opportunities
for the small and large-scale energy companies.
As regards geothermal energy potential, Turkey ranks 7th in the world and
3rd in Europe. Once all planned investments in the geothermal energy sector are
made, the total value-added amount to the economy will be USD 16 billion per
With its high potential in agriculture and installed capacity in biodiesel
and bio-ethanol, Turkey can be the bio-fuel supply center of Europe.
In order to establish a common energy market with the EU, Turkey plans to
interconnect its energy system with UCTE (Union for the Coordination of
Transmission of Electricity) grid.
The government provides feed-in tariff incentives for the renewable energy
Turkey ranks 1st in the world in terms of highest growth rate in wind energy
plants and only 15 percent of its potential has been utilized up until now.

Turkey’s ambitious vision of 2023, the centennial foundation of the Republic,
envisages grandiose targets for the energy sector in Turkey. These targets

125,000 MW of installed power (up from 54,423 MW in 2010)
Increasing the share of renewables to 30 percent
60,717 km of transmission lines (up from 49,104 km in 2010)
158,460 MVA of power distribution unit capacity (up from 98,996 MVA in 2010)
Decreasing electricity loss-theft to 5 percent and extending the use of
smart grids
5 billion m3 of natural gas storage capacity (up from 2.6 billion m3 in
Establishing an energy stock exchange
8 nuclear reactors with a capacity of 10,000 MW will be active
Construction of 4 nuclear reactors with a capacity of 5,000 MW
Construction of power plants with a capacity of 18,500 MW in the coal basins
Full utilization of hydropower
Increasing wind power to 20,000 MW (up from 1,694 MW in 2010)
Power plants with 600 MW geothermal, 3,000 MW solar energy