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Those who run with the wind

Interest in renewable sources of energy is continually increasing. This interest is being driven by the reality that in 50 years’ time the classic sources of energy will have been exhausted. The fa...

Son Güncelleme: 01.08.2007

Interest in renewable sources of energy is continually increasing. This interest is being driven by the reality that in 50 years’ time the classic sources of energy will have been exhausted. The fact that wind energy has recorded average annual growth of 30 percent over the last six years makes it an attractive field. The sector has a potential of 80,000 megawatts in Turkey and this is whetting the appetites of many local and foreign companies.

According to data from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), the EU will have an established power of 230,000 megawatts and meet 12 percent of its energy demand from the wind by 2010. This means a market of approximately 25 billion Euro. The target for 2020 is 1.2 million megawatts.

This rapid growth is attracting the interest of many companies from Turkey. Turkey has a low established capacity of 50 megawatts but a potential of 80,000 megawatts, which is whetting the appetite of all the companies. Sabancı Holding has recently been concentrating on energy and it has announced that, through Enerjisa, over the next 10 years it will focus on producing electricity, particularly from water and the wind. Polat Holding has formed a 50-50 partnership with Demirer Holding. The partners’ plans include a 370 megawatt, which means approximately $370 million, investment in this field.

Polisan Holding is indicating that it may form a partnership with foreign investors in this field. The textile giant Sanko has been pursuing this business for years. Zorlu repeats at every opportunity that it will continue to pursue its ambitions in the energy sector, on which is has concentrated since leaving the financial sector. The existing potential is the reason why foreign companies are looking towards Turkey. The British giant Iberdrola is preparing to establish a wind energy power station in Turkey. Global giants such as ENEL, EON and RWE are looking to invest in Turkey.

The Fastest Growing Energy Resource
In fact, the interest in renewable energy is the result of the prospect of the classical energy resources becoming exhausted by 2050. The increase in demand in this field is the reason why the world’s energy companies competing to enter the business. When one looks at the performance of the sector over the last six years, the reason for the increase in interest in the wind is that it is the most rapidly growing renewable source of energy.

Andreas Nauen, who is responsible for wind energy at Siemens, explains how they noticed the great potential in this field as follows: “We studied the wind market for two years and researched the growth potential of the market. We saw the size of the potential and decided to invest in companies which would make it easy to enter the market.” The German company’s target turnover is 600 million Euro. Siemens’s purchase of Bonus, one of the leading manufacturers of wind turbines in Denmark, is an indication of its ambitions in this field.

Which Are The Leading Companies?
The interest of German, Danish and US firms, which are the leading firms in the world in wind energy, in Turkey is growing by the day. At the moment, the general trend is to form a partnership with a strong local company and reduce bureaucratic obstacles. The results of this strategy include GE’s establishment of a plant in Turkey and Enercon’s production of turbine blades in the Izmir Free Trade Zone. Iberdrola has publicly announced that it will establish a large wind energy power station in Turkey. While companies such as ENEL, EON and RWE are known to have investment plans for Turkey.

This great potential is attracting local companies as well as foreigners. Some local investors have already entered the sector. Others have received licenses and are preparing investments. In addition to those companies which are launching investments in wind energy, there others who are looking at wind energy over the next five years. Wind energy ranks among the most important issues on the agendas of many groups and companies, including Zorlu, Polat, Doğan, Aksa, Polisan, Demirek, Bilgin Enerji, SAGAP, Ertürk Elektrik, Ayen Enerji and Dost Enerji.

Erol Mizrahi is the CEO of Polisan, which has long expressed an interest in investing in this field. “We are also conducting the necessary preliminary research in this field,” he says. “We are planning to make an investment in the right area in wind energy, if necessary together with a foreign investor.”

In the last three years in particular, Doğan Holding has been closely following every energy field. Energy Group Vice President Ertan Çakır says that the holding is closely interested in clean energy resources such as wind and solar power.

Fadime Çoban Bazzal