Solar power plant in animal farms

04 July 20227 min reading

Opportunities continue to invest both in ourselves and our country in solar energy in the forthcoming period. Investing in clean, renewable and sustainable energy resources is the most rational investment we can make both for our world and ourselves.

Hasan KARA
Electrical Engineer, 
MBA / Elektrik Mühendisi
Bovinagro Teknik Enerji

The level of development of countries is directly proportional to their energy consumption. Countries of which industry is constantly developing have to find different sources from those they have used so far to meet their energy needs. The use of renewable energy sources has become compulsory as a result of the increasing cost of fossil fuels, the necessity of making Turkey independent in terms of energy policy, and environmental pollution as a result of the use of fossil resources. Turkey has a high solar energy potential thanks to its geographical location. Today, solar energy is widely used within the scope of renewable energy.

The sun is more than a source of light during the daytime. Every particle of sunlight that reaches Earth, a photon, contains the energy that feeds our planet. Solar panels convert solar energy into usable electricity through a process called the photovoltaic effect. The electricity is consumed at the relevant consumption facility or sold through distribution companies to the interconnected Turkish energy network.

The intensity of solar energy outside the Earth's atmosphere is approximately 1370 W/m², however, the amount reaching the earth varies between 0 and 1100 W/m² because of the atmosphere. Even a small part of this energy that comes to the world is many times more than the current energy consumption of humanity. Studies on utilizing solar energy gained momentum especially after the 1970s, solar energy systems have shown a progress in technology and decrease in cost, and have established themselves as an environmentally clean energy source. Especially the fact that it is a clean energy source and that it works at a low cost after installation increase the significance of solar energy.

Figure 1- Solar Energy Potential Atlas of Turkey

Today, with the development of technology and increasing energy demand, solar panels are constantly developing. With regards to raw material and technology, the People's Republic of China leads the field of solar panel production. Turkey has become the leader of Europe in panel production past 2 years. Many large- and medium-scale investments in panel production will also come into effect in 2022. However, the demand has increased a lot due to the skyrocketed energy costs. Domestic production falls short, so, imported panels are used as well.

There are substantial incentives for the use of domestic panels. With the 4th Region incentives, in the establishment of facilities over 240 kW, there advantages in sections such as

•  VAT exemption

•  Customs Duty Exemption

•  Income Tax Deduction

•  Social Insurance Premium Support

Solar power plant (SPP) installations continue very rapidly in agricultural enterprises as is the case with the industry. Minimizing the cost of energy need will contribute to increasing the profit share of agricultural enterprises. The farms benefit from renewable energy sources such as biofuel, solar and wind energy in order to carry out agricultural production operations that require high amount of energy. Achieving higher quality and higher efficiency in agricultural production, particularly in animal breeding, is proportional to mechanization. Energy consumption is also increasing along with mechanization. Today, the increase in the cost of energy causes the farmer to allocate a considerable part of their income to energy expenses.

Although solar power plant installation seems costly, today the investment redemption periods are 2.5 to 4 years, excluding the financing cost. This is great for the profitability of the investment. Many panel companies provide 10 years of material and 25 years of performance guarantee for their products in minimum. Even after 25 years, the panels decrease to 80% efficiency at the worst.

Financing is one of the most important parts of this investment. Both public and private banks provide favorable loans in this regard. Besides, installation can be done through leasing method. In fact, instead of paying the electricity bill every month, your investment will be paid for leasing. At the end of the 4th year, it will meet the energy needs and the surplus will be sold. It will be a considerable income source for many years. 

Livestock Businesses SPP Applications

Solar power plants personnel- and maintenance-free. It is useful to clean it with pure water every 6 months, depending on the dustiness level. Apart from that, their glass is self-cleaning with rain water. Therefore, it does not require extra personnel or maintenance.

The new legal regulations have paved the way for solar energy installation on non-agricultural lands. Investors who do not have a suitable roof or do not want to install it on their roof can establish solar farms on non-agricultural lands by fulfilling the necessary legislation and obligations. Agricultural and Industrial subscribers can install solar energy power plant up to 2 times their contract power. Draft studies are in progress for Organized Industrial Zones.

Solar power plant designs are studies that require advanced engineering. Today, many engineering companies are working on this issue. Business lines related to this sector have emerged and the employment of technical personnel has increased.

The installed power graph of the power plants in Turkey according to the May 2022 TEİAŞ Installed power report is given. As can be seen from the chart, renewable energy sources should have a larger share of the cake. Opportunities continue to invest both in ourselves and our country in this area in the forthcoming period. Investing in clean, renewable and sustainable energy resources is the most rational investment we can make both for our world and ourselves.

One of the most important features of renewable energy sources is that they reduce carbon emissions. As energy consumption increases, carbon emissions also increase. Today, many power plants make production with fossil fuels with thermal methods. In order to reduce the greenhouse gas effect, it is necessary to head towards renewable energy sources.

Many European countries are planning to completely quit thermal production between 2025 and 2030. Vehicles have started to become fully electric. Therefore, the need for electricity will increase exponentially and clean electricity generation will become important. Carbon footprint tracking and carbon exchange trading have also started to be traded. A tax mechanism arrangement was also made within the framework of the European Green Agreement and the Carbon Border Adjustment (CBA) mechanism was announced as an EU regulation. The starting date of the CBA covers a 3-year transition period starting from January 1, 2023. It is planned to be fully implemented as of January 1, 2026. During this transition period, the relevant sectors are required to submit a CBAM declaration. This declaration will cover the calculation of direct greenhouse gas emissions for products imported into the EU. Carbon costs are currently around €60 per ton. In order to provide a cost advantage, the determined sectors should follow up and report the greenhouse gas amounts per product as soon as possible. The European Union has given the CO2 emission per kWh of the electrical energy mix (such as coal, natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear) as 0.443 kg. In Turkey, on the other hand, a CO2 emission rate of 0.437 kg was calculated to produce 1 kWh of electricity in 2019. This is a very high rate. Therefore, in order to reduce CO2 emissions, to be able to trade with Europe and for a healthy world, we must produce energy with clean energy sources.

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