Wind of change for the energy forecasting services in the Turkish energy market

The Turkish renewable energy market is at the peak of its development. The country has set a target to acquire 30% of all its electricity needs from renewable energy resources by 2023. For the wind energy industry, this means that the installed capacity of wind power plants should be 20 GW by then. The country’s techno-economic potential for wind energy is estimated at 48 GW.

In reality, the rapid growth and the fast investment pace in new wind energy projects is easily noticeable. Over the past few years, there has been an annual growth of approximately 27% of the installed capacity. The result is that from the start of 2016, there are 4.7 GW of installed power in 113 wind plants. The interest in investing in wind energy in Turkey does not seem like it will diminish in the near future. Currently there is 1.88 GW of capacity in wind power plants under construction. Furthermore, there are 40 GW from projects that have been submitted for evaluation for licensing through January 2016.

In order to ensure that this transition is sustainable, more than just investments in wind generating capacities is required. The national transmission system operator, TEIAS, has announced that it will invest in reinforcing the grid to sustain the new renewable capacity. However, aside from technical improvements, changes in the regulatory system for renewable energy are also required. One of the latest regulations that directly concerns energy forecasting is the obligation for wind power plants to have energy forecasting services if they want to participate in the market.

Introducing such regulation in the developing stage of wind energy in Turkey signifies the importance that predictions of power production have for the technical and economic viability of the energy system. The wind power producers are obliged to provide hourly forecasts for the day ahead market. The actual production under the estimated forecast is penalized with the highest price on the market for the non-produced amount of energy, and an additional 3% punishment.

Therefore, for players in the wind energy market in Turkey, the energy forecasting services represent a highly valued asset and necessity, not an additional service. The accuracy of the forecasts is of great importance and advanced methods like artificial intelligence should be used to provide high quality service. As the percentage of renewable energy production continually grows in the national energy systems, it will not be long before other countries include regulations for forecasting services.

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