Country Report - Turkey

Status of Solar Heating/Cooling and Solar Buildings - 2021

Status of the Market for Solar Thermal Systems

Market Size and Trends

In parallel with its population and GDP growth, Turkey has been experiencing rapid demand growth in all segments of the energy sector for decades. Turkey’s energy consumption of primary energy and electricity has increased at an annual average rate of 4 to 8% in the last two decades. It is expected that this trend will continue in the coming decades. In response, Turkey is developing an energy policy aimed at securing a reliable supply of energy, as well as to achieve a low-carbon and environmentally sustainable future. Turkey also intends to promote employment and economic growth through its energy development. 

Under this context; solar energy is main driver since Turkey is located geographically in a region called the “solar band,” which has the greatest utilization potential for solar energy. The government’s general directorate of renewable energy [1] estimates that Turkey receives, on average, 1.02 million TeraWatt-hours of solar radiation each year (TWh/year). The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre [2] gives a slightly higher figure, 1.21 million TWh/year. Turkey's average annual total sunshine duration is calculated as 2640h (daily total is 7.2h), and average total irradiation as

1311kWh/m² year (daily total is 3.6kWh/m²). The Southeastern (GAP) region boasts the highest solar energy potential in the country with 1460kWh/m² year and sunshine duration of 2,993 hours per year [3].

Turkey is among the largest developing solar markets. By the year 2019, the amount of installed solar collector area in Turkey reached to nearly 26 Million m²  [4]. By using solar collectors in this capacity, heat energy, which is equivalent to approximately 1.15 Million TEP, was generated by a rough estimation based on numbers given for previous years [5]. It can be extracted that about 0.78 Million TEP of heat energy was used in dwellings whereas 0.37 Million TEP was used for industrial aims.

With nearly 1.88 Million m² of collector area newly installed in 2019 (1.33 GWth), kept the trend as it was in 2018 with Turkey again the largest solar thermal market in Europe and the second largest in the world, following China. The share of vacuum tube collectors has increased significantly over the years, and finally reached half of all newly installed solar thermal collectors in 2019 [4], 0.950 versus 0.935 in Million m². The IEA SHC's annual report, Solar Heat Worldwide [6] uses industry-based figures for Turkey. Although there are not yet regular official statistics by the government, TTMD [7], the Turkish Society of HVAC and Sanitary Engineers, recently started to collect data from the national solar thermal industry for accurate official prediction.

According to latest available market surveys for solar thermal industry trends [8]: multi-family houses were considered the fastest-growing segment in Turkey´s solar thermal market, taking 52% vote of the survey participants. Another 17% considered single-family houses to be the most important segment, 14% opted for the tourism sector, 10% for the public sector and 7% for industrial process heat. 





[4]  Solar Heat Worldwide, 2021 Edition

[5]  C. Erdin and G. Ozkaya, Sustainability 2019, 11, 2136; doi:10.3390/ su11072136




Typical Applications and Products

The most typical application in Turkey is domestic hot water since early 1970s. The most typical product type is the individual thermosyphon system with 2 flat plate collectors, each nearly 2m². This market is very mature and widespread throughout the country. 

Vacuum tube technology has been gaining influence on the Turkish market in the last decade. The share of vacuum tubes among the total newly installed collector area in the country increased from 10 to nearly 50% between years of 2008 and 2018. Thermosyphon systems with a vacuum tube collector, having 1.6-3.0 m² area, has been very popular in recent years.   

There are different types of solar heating and cooling applications in the country; such as:

  • Water heating in domestic, industrial, tourism, and service facilities including hospitals, prisons and mosques,
  • Space cooling in hotels and recently in shopping malls,
  • Drying agricultural products without a special setup and recently with solar air heaters,
  • Heating vegetable and flower greenhouses in the Mediterranean, Aegean, and partially Southeastern Anatolian regions of Turkey.

Some of the typical large-scale applications in Turkey are briefly highlighted below:

1. Solar water heaters in Turkey's social housing and public funded projects [2], constructed by the country's Housing Development Administration (TOKI),

  • TOKI has provided a total of 20,000 flats for low-income families with solar hot water in Kayabasi/Istanbul, Yapracik/Ankara, and Kayseri,
  • TOKI had installed solar heating systems in 100 hospitals all around the country,
  • One year after the earthquake in the city of Van in the very east of Turkey, TOKI has built 15,323 new flats for those who lost their homes, with individual 120 litre thermo-syphon solar water heaters, corresponding to a total collector area of 30,646 m².

2. The high-security Silivri Prison is equipped with 3,500 m² of solar water heaters, being Turkey´s biggest solar thermal project so far [2].

3. Solar-kombi-set, which combines solar water and space heating and works alongside gas boilers, are becoming popular reference projects for villas, particularly for hotels. Large companies have strong interest since each project counts between 70 and 500 solar collector installations [3].

It is important to highlight that nearly all of the city hospitals built in the last five years have preferred to install large-scale solar thermal collector systems for their hot water needs.  





More information:

Main Market Drivers

Main market driver of the classical thermosyphon system with a single tank is its relatively affordable price, easy-payment protocol provided by marketing companies, regardless of being national-level large company or local level small one. Its efficient use due to high solar radiation potential in the country and relatively higher prices of conventional fuels are other reasons for the widespread use of these systems.  

The solar market nowadays is very hot for newly constructed industrial or commercial facilities because it can take just three or four years for a solar thermal system to pay back its installation costs as opposed to the five-year payback time of natural gas.

It is important to note that the public awareness of the benefits of solar water heating has been very high in Turkey. Generous hot water output of this user-friendly mature technology makes it very attractive for domestic consumption, especially in southern and western provinces.

In the last five years, use of solar water heating systems based on vacuum tubes has notably increased due to its  “lower price” than classic flat plate collector systems. The installer’s profit margin is also higher with vacuum tube systems than with flat plate collector systems. Besides, the installation of a vacuum system is simpler.

Turkey has no incentives for solar water heaters aside from families living in remote areas (“forest villages”) who receive interest free credit covering 100% of the investment cost, which is to be repaid in three equal installments. 132,121 families in rural areas have received a subsidy for solar water heaters between 2004 and 2013 from a project funded by the General Directorate of Forestry, Department of Forest and Village Relations (ORKOY) to avoid deforestation.

Recent regulations on renewable energy use along with energy efficiency requirements (BEPD of Turkey) have created many opportunities for the solar energy and HVAC sector. The National Renewable Energy Action Plan of Turkey supports this trend and has set a new target for the share of renewables in gross final consumption for heating and cooling to 14.16% from 12.54%. 

Key barriers:

  • Solar heating tanks are a common sight on the roofs of Turkish houses, even throughout the country’s less populated eastern and central regions. Keeping track of all these installed solar thermal systems, however, is very difficult because of the unofficial, decentralized nature of the industry.
  • Of the several hundred solar thermal manufacturing companies in the country, there are nearly ten to fifteen large companies that are financially strong. The rest are small companies with three to four employees. The smaller outfits buy their raw materials under the counter so they don’t incur any value added tax, making their products about one-fifth cheaper than the traceable products of large companies.
  • Turkey is one of the few countries with a functioning solar thermal market that works independently of any subsidy programmes. In European countries and the U.S., the governments give incentives so people can easily afford solar thermal systems. If private residences in Turkey were given an incentive by the government, like only having to pay half the installation costs, then some standards could be applied to the market.
  • The expansion of the gas grid to villages has negative influence on solar collector demand.

More information

Solar Thermal In The Mediterranean Region: Solar Thermal Action Plan, OME Report, December 2012,    

Building Energy Performance Directive (BEPD) of Turkey (2008),

National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) of Turkey (2014).


The industry is well developed with high quality manufacturing and export capacity. The number of solar thermal manufacturers and retailers has dropped in the last five years. It is, as of 2020, estimated that there are nearly 70 manufacturers and 500-600 retailers throughout the country. The number of large manufacturing factories, involving with export and distribution activities as well has decreased to nearly 10-15, in the last five years.

According to a solar thermal market survey in 2019, there are 2 Turkish manufacturers (Solimpeks as 9th and Eraslan as 14th) in the top 20 list of the world's largest flat plate collector manufacturers [1].

Evacuated vacuum tube collector manufacturers increased due to the fact that the import tax, implemented in July 2011, made importers move system production to the country. Almost all of the vacuum tube systems sold on the market today are made in Turkey. Three vacuum tube manufacturers have now become part of an export industry themselves. Lara Solar, Assolar/Aslanlar Metal and Solarsan all claim to have already been exporting vacuum tubes to different regions worldwide. Their manufacturing capacities vary between 3 to 4 million tubes annually [2-5].

Total export share of solar water heaters has been steady in recent years, varying between 10%-15%. Solar thermal systems are typically marketed to the end consumer by a three-tiered chain: wholesalers, who sell to installers, who sell to consumers.





[4]  Altuntop N., Erdemir D., ‘Development of Solar Energy Industry and Utilization in Turkey’, IRENEC Conference Proceeding, 2012 



More information            


According to previous technical reports, there were over 3,000 solar water heating system installers throughout the country [1, 2]. Solar thermal provided in total 20,000 direct and indirect (sub industry of tank, support base, fittings, etc.) jobs in the country. These numbers have sharply dropped in the last five years due to shifts to the PV business, which is strongly supported by the government, but no credible information exists as of 2020 to quantify accurate numbers.   

More information:

[1]           Solar Thermal In The Mediterranean Region: Market Assessment Report, OME Report, September 2012,

[2]           Regional Market Assessment Report In The Mediterranean Countries, United Nations Environment Programme, 2014


Total investment cost of a typical domestic system including installation and all taxes vary between 300-500 Euro. Total system cost for larger sizes is nearly 90-140 Euro/m².    

More information:

Other Key Topics

Two solar thermal test and certification laboratories exist in Turkey. Both laboratories target to get accreditation for issuing Solar Keymark certificate for solar water heaters.

Status of the Market for Solar Buildings


Solar buildings are just in R&D and demonstration phases and only passive solar architecture is mature in Turkey. As of 2020, there is no visible market yet.

Market Size and Trends

Passive solar technologies (i.e., solar orientation, Trombe wall) are most common in Turkey. Active solar cooling systems exist in a few hotels. Daylighting systems have been gaining interest in commercial buildings. Thermal storage has been gaining importance in industrial facilities.

Main Market Drivers

Although the market is not formed yet, there are main reasons for interest in solar integrated building. The most important market drivers are that buildings consume the majority of the country’s energy and electricity/natural gas prices are relatively high. The existence of nearly 9 million buildings, of which 90% are for residential purposes, in the country signals tremendous potential for solar energy integration. The National Building Energy Performance Directive of Turkey, therefore, strongly encourages the use of renewable energy, particularly solar, in buildings. A green certificate scheme is currently under consideration by the policymakers in Turkey. If applied, such a scheme could help subsidize the use of solar energy and reflect some of the external costs of fossil fuel based power generation. 

A comprehensive study of the residential buildings and dwellings across Turkey was undertaken by the Turkish Statistical Institute in 2011. According to that study, 20% of the population resided in buildings with one floor, 19.5% of the population resided in buildings with 2 floors, 11.9% of the population resided in buildings with 3 floors and 23.1% of the population resided in buildings with 6 or more floors. The average number of floors in a building was 4.  These numbers imply that almost 75% of existing buildings are low rise, allowing much easier integration of solar thermal energy. 

According to a recent report by SHURA Energy Transition Center, the fact given in the following is one of the main barriers in using solar space heating technologies: 

"As of the end of 2017, in Turkey, 49.6 million people were actively using natural gas, up from 45.2 million at the end of the previous year. This amounts to a 10% increase in a single year and represents a continuation of the past five years’ trend (an increase of 42% with 14.6 million more people having access to gas supply). While these figures represent the population that actively consumes gas, one should note that 62 million people have access to the gas network. 12 million people with access choose not to use gas due to preference for other fuels like coal and oil products, for heating / cooking, or other technologies like heat pumps, over gas. The government aims to increase access to the network by another 2.5 million people by the end of 2018."

The major key barrier in growth of solar thermal use for space heating and cooling technologies is that there is no incentive/support scheme for solar thermal systems whereas there is strong support for solar PV systems in buildings and industry.

More information:


2. Turkish Statistical Institute (2013), ‘Population and Housing Census, 2011’, pp. 242-243.

3. Solar Heating and Cooling for Residential Applications, IEA-ETSAP and IRENA Technology Brief R12 - January 2015.


No credible information yet exists.


No credible information yet exists.

Other Key Topics


R&D Activities

R&D Programmes

There is a unique Solar Energy Institute at the Ege University in Izmir/Turkey in addition to several applied research centers at some Turkish universities. The main actors of several centers in solar thermal and solar buildings are listed below.

R&D Infrastructure

R&D Institutions
Institution Type of Institution Relevant Research Areas IEA SHC Involvement Website
Solar Energy Institute Post Graduate Education, Research and Development All areas in solar energy none yet
Harran University GAP YENEV Center Applied Research and Development Center Solar heating, cooling and CSP systems candidate for some active tasks
ODTU MATPUM Center Applied Research and Development Center Solar buildings and sustainable materials none yet

Actual Innovations

  1. Photovoltaic and Thermal Hybrid Collector (PV/T): An innovative PV/T hybrid solar collector by Turkish manufacturer Solimpex was designed, tested and manufactured for commercial use [1].
  2. Baymak, offers a system called Aqua Solar. The company paid special attention to an aesthetic appearance. The company modified the tank which are protected from corrosion by titanium added enamel and magnesium anodes. New high UV resistant plastic side covers will allow easy carriage and easy installation. The system is available with a storage capacity from 16 to 300 litres [2].
  3. GAP YENEV Center has recently developed a fresnel type collector for industrial heat use [3].  





Support Framework


1. Relevant policy framework

a. Energy Efficiency Law (Law No: 5627) amended in 2007

The purpose of this Law (1) is to increase efficiency in using energy sources by avoiding waste, easing the burden of energy costs on the economy and protecting the environment. This law covers principles and procedures applicable to increasing and promoting energy efficiency in the energy generation, transmission, distribution and consumption phases at industrial establishments, buildings, power generation plants, transmission and distribution networks and transport. It also raises energy awareness in the general public.

b. National Renewable Energy Action Plan 

Turkey’s national Renewable Energy Action Plan (REAP) presented under Directive 2009/28/ EC is the establishment of strategies to promote the development of renewable energy in Turkey. Some of the strategies relevant for solar heating and cooling are:

  • Ensure technological and industrial development based on the installation of a higher renewable energy capacity by 2023,
  • Plan use of renewable energy resources taking into consideration the impact of climate change and sustainability to the ecosystem, orienting plans toward the mitigation of climate change,
  • Develop an appropriate framework to promote the penetration of distributed generation based on renewable energies and the usage of renewable energy in buildings.

c. National Energy Efficiency Strategy Paper of 2012-2023

The Turkish Government has a strong commitment to energy efficiency. This document (2) presents strategic guidelines and actions for creating energy efficiency in the building, transportation and industrial sectors in Turkey. It plans to enhance energy efficiency, preventing unconscious use and dissipation, and decreasing energy density either within the sectorial base or at the macro level. These guidelines form important components of the Turkish national energy policy, in all its stages from energy production and transmission to final consumption.

d. National Energy Efficiency Action Plan

2. Relevant grants/incentives by public/private institutions:  

a. Incentives Provided by the Small and Medium Industry Development and Support Administration (KOSGEB):

A subsidy program has been prepared to provide KOSGEB’s support for the training, study and consultancy services to be received by SMEs regarding energy efficiency (pursuant to the Energy Efficiency Law No. 5627 and within the framework of the by-law on KOSGEB Subsidies).

b. Incentives Provided by Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Institute (TÜBITAK):

TÜBITAK provides support on sustainable technologies within the framework of various support programs. These programs include; the Program for Supporting:

Scientific and Technologic Research Projects, Fast Support Program, Program for Supporting the Research and Development Projects of Public Agencies, Patent Application Incentive and Subsidy Program, Universal Researcher Program, Program for Participation in International Scientific Research Projects, Program for Supporting the Initiatives for Establishing Scientific and Technologic Cooperation Networks and Platforms, and the National Young Researcher Career Development Program. 

Furthermore, TÜBITAK’s Technology and Innovation Support Programs Department (TEYDEB) is executing support programs for increasing the research-technology development skills and innovation culture as well as competitive power. The rate of support can be increased by 20% for projects with environmental technology themes.

c. Incentives Provided by Technology Development Foundation of Turkey (TTGV):

TTGV provides repaid financing support for the R&D activities at technology development level, by which products with commercial value are developed. The support covers R&D projects in the fields of environment friendly products, sustainable production technologies, renewable energy, etc. The Environmental Supports financed by TTGV provide repayable funding support to the “implementation projects” of industrialists in the fields of environmental technologies, energy efficiency and renewable energy. In addition, TTGV provides support for both the technologic innovation projects in Turkey and the initiatives for the protection of ecology.

Government Agencies Responsible for Solar Thermal, for Solar Building Activities

In Turkey, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources is the ultimate owner and entity responsible for disseminating all energy related information and manages this responsibility through its relevant divisions specializing in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, 

Some public universities have departments specializing in energy efficiency (e.g. Istanbul Technical University, Laboratory for Energy Efficiency and Lighting, Harran University, GAP Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Center), some NGOs such as the Chamber of Mechanical Engineers, the Association of Energy Efficiency (ENVER) are also important entities that publish well researched and thoroughly analyzed information specifically on the net benefits, costs and energy efficiency of equipment and systems using renewable energy sources for heating, cooling and electricity. It is expected with the growing emphasis on efficiency from the General Directorate of Renewable Energy, that collaboration from the private sector and NGOs will be further increased.

Most Important Public Support Measure(s) for Solar Thermal and for Solar Buildings

EPDB of Turkey promotes energy efficient renewable energy technologies in buildings. Moreover, Energy Efficiency Strategy Paper aims at strengthening institutional structures, capacities and collaboration to increase use of state of the art technology, awareness activities, and to develop financial mechanisms. The lines of action include the following topics: strengthen corporate structures and collaborations, training programs, R&D, agreements with consultancy companies, and communication and consciousness in the community. All these action lines would promote renewable energy use in buildings.

Technical and quality measures based on international standards focused on renewable energy components, equipment and procedures must be taken into consideration, for example: TR-ISO 12975 for thermal solar energy (system and components).

Information Resources

National Solar Associations (industry and non-industry)

  1. GUNDER, Turkey Section of International Solar Energy Society,

    GUNDER, founded in 1991, maintains studies in development of industry, science and technology in the field of solar energy by establishing the regulatory framework and raising awareness. GUNDER has moved to dealing only PV related businesses since basically 2018. As of 2020, GUNDER has no member from industry dealing solely with solar thermal industry.
  2. TTMD, Turkish Society of HVAC & Sanitary Engineers.

    Turkish Society of HVAC & Sanitary Engineers, TTMD, has been driving development and growth of the Solar Buildings Market. TTMD was founded to develop the services given by Mechanical Engineering in heating, refrigerating, ventilating, air conditioning, plumbing, insulation and fire safety. Currently, TTMD is one of the biggest non-governmental organizations (NGO) in Turkey having professional members of designers, manufacturers, contractors, academicians, policymakers in the field of energy efficiency and environment. TTMD carries out many co-operations with universities and high schools, industry, research institutes, public bodies, NGOs, and other professional expert groups with the objectives of creating living areas that are environmentally friendly, utilizing energy more efficiently, and having more sustainable buildings and installations. TTMD represents the Turkish engineers and architects in international platforms and keeps being in contact with international professional associations, following the technological developments and transferring them to its members and society. In addition to the seminars and courses regularly organized, TTMD also organizes symposiums and congresses, publishes journals, books, and manuals containing recent information, develops projects targeting climate change, energy efficiency and nZEB, and takes part actively in regulatory and standardization work. The members of TTMD have the privilege of receiving up-to-date information worldwide directly through TTMDs connections. Designers, consultants and contractor companies in the field of energy efficiency sector in Turkey, mostly have members of TTMD, who are highly-skilled professionals.

    TTMD has coordinated many scientific and technological activities to specifically focus on using solar heating and cooling technologies in buildings. Starting in 2020, TTMD represents Turkey in the IEA SHC Programme to contribute growth of solar buildings market.

National Associations on Green/Solar/Sustainable Buildings

There are three major associations in the area of green/solar/sustainable buildings:

  1. Turkish Society of HVAC & Sanitary Engineers,
  2. Turkish Green Building Council
  3. Zero Energy and Passive House Association

Most Important Media for Solar Thermal and Solar Buildings

The most effective media sources for dynamic information are listed below: