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What is a Solar Energy System (GES) Loan?

A GES loan, also known as a solar energy system loan, is a type of credit provided by banks to consumers and SMEs to enable them to produce their own energy. As you know, the energy consumption of households and companies is increasing every year. The growing energy demand poses a significant cost for developing countries like Turkey. The scarcity of natural resources such as oil, coal, and natural gas leads to the constant rise in prices of these commodities. This increase raises costs in countries like ours as well. As the cost of electricity consumption rises, households and small to medium-sized enterprises are driven to produce their own energy, which banks support through GES loans. The article also includes information about banks that provide GES loans.

The sun, especially for our planet which supports life, provides an almost inexhaustible energy source within the solar system. According to studies by physicists and chemists, it will continue to provide energy to our planet for at least another 4 billion years. With the advancement of technology, many innovations and inventions are emerging to harness solar energy. For years, many households in cities where sunlight is more direct have been meeting their hot water needs with solar panels. Thanks to solar energy systems that convert sunlight into electrical energy, households and small to medium-sized enterprises can now also produce their own electricity.

How Much Solar Energy is Available?

The Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Energy has started offering incentives to citizens to produce their own energy and sell the surplus to the state. The GES loan is one of the state-supported loans in this context. In the rest of our article, we will provide detailed information about solar energy systems. Additionally, we will offer detailed information about banks that provide GES loans for those interested in making investments in this area.

In a study commissioned by the Ministry of Energy across Turkey, information about Turkey’s potential solar energy was collected. According to the Turkey Solar Energy Potential Atlas, the annual sunshine duration in Turkey is 2,741 hours, which averages to about 7.5 hours per day. The solar energy that can be obtained with this sunshine duration is determined to be 1,527 kWh/m² annually and 4.18 kWh/m² daily.

Types of Solar Energy Systems

There are many different approaches to converting sunlight into various forms of energy. Solar panels can directly heat water for homes and businesses. With advancing technology, there are also numerous technologies to convert solar energy into electrical energy. However, two of the most commonly used technologies can be mentioned. These are the production of electrical energy with the help of solar cells and Thermal Solar Technologies and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) approach.

What is Solar Cell Technology?

In this method, defined as the photovoltaic solar electricity generation system, solar cells made from semiconductor materials convert sunlight indirectly into electrical energy.

What are Thermal Solar Technologies and Concentrated Solar Power?

In this technology, heat is obtained from solar energy first. This heat can be used to heat water and generate electricity directly or with the help of turbines.

Who Can Install Solar Energy Systems?

There can be many different examples in this regard. As long as there are no issues with property rights and all legal permits are obtained, you can produce your own electricity with solar energy systems. Additionally, you can sell the excess electricity you produce to the system with a purchase guarantee offered by the state.

More detailed information on this topic can be found in the frequently asked questions section prepared by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) under the Ministry of Energy.

Can We Install a Solar Energy System on the Roof of an Apartment Building? Can We Get a GES Loan for This? Is It Profitable to Set Up a GES Power Plant?

Let’s consider an apartment building where one person is authorized by the residents. In this apartment building with 16 units, all residents have given a notary power of attorney to one person. The roof area of the apartment is 600 m². Calculations show that the sun-facing direction of the apartment is 300 m², and with indirect areas, it is 350 m². Suppose the apartment wants to produce electricity with solar cells. Here, since 7 m² is needed for a 1 kW photovoltaic solar energy system, an electricity production facility with an installed capacity of 50 kW/hour can be established on the apartment roof (350/7=50). If we assume an average sunshine duration of 7 hours, this apartment produces 350 kW per day. The apartment meets its own consumption from this. Suppose each unit consumes 10 kW/hour of electricity per day. Sixteen units consume 160 kW of electricity per day.

If production is 350 kW and consumption is 160 kW, there is an excess of 190 kW of electricity. You can sell this amount to the state with the purchase guarantee offered by the state.

Banks Providing GES Loans

Banks provide GES loans for investments in electricity generation from solar energy, which the Ministry of Energy, the European Union, and the World Bank have been intensively supporting recently. Banks offering GES loans can provide separate opportunities for households and SMEs.

Garanti Bank GES Loan

Garanti Bank offers financing support for unlicensed electricity generation projects and installations under 1 MW, as well as for major energy producers. Known as the Solar Energy Loan, Garanti Bank GES Loan offers a repayment-free period of up to 2 years.

Loan Conditions
  • Individuals or legal entities with at least one electricity subscription who want to produce unlicensed electricity from solar energy under 1 MW can apply.
  • To use the loan, a Connection Agreement must be signed with the electricity grid operator.
  • A repayment-free plan of up to 2 years can be offered.
  • Credit terms are arranged according to the cash flow for SMEs and fixed-income individuals.
  • The loan can be in Turkish Lira or Dollars.
  • If your consumption is under 1 MW, you can sell your remaining production to the state under legal regulations and get support in your loan repayments. There is a 10-year purchase guarantee according to the laws.
  • Another bank supporting higher MW production among the banks providing GES loans is İş Bank.

İş Bank Unlicensed Electricity Generation Loan

The GES loan offered by İş Bank: This loan, included in the list of banks providing GES loans, is provided as the Unlicensed Electricity Generation Loan by İş Bank. It offers financing support for electricity production based on any renewable energy source with an installed power of 5 MW and below. These sources include wind, solar energy, and all other renewable energy sources. İş Bank aims to support the national economy while contributing to the prevention of environmental pollution with eco-friendly investments. It is also known as İş’te Güneş loan.

İş Bank GES Loan Conditions
  • For the Unlicensed Electricity Generation Loan, you can choose not to make payments in the first year. This period is a maximum of 12 months.
  • Unlike consumer loans, the opportunity to use a loan with a term of up to 10 years is offered.
  • The loan can be in Turkish Lira or Dollars.
  • It is mandatory to present a document showing that you are an electricity subscriber, a connection agreement, and a document proving the facility is insured.