• Bruce Rich
  • Environmental Forum
  • January-February 2016
  • p. 21

Turkey, the world’s 17th largest economy, plans to as much as quadruple coal-fired electric capacity, building as many as 80 new plants by 2030. It could become the world’s third-largest operator of coal plants, after China and India....A missed economic opportunity as well as an environmental disaster is unfolding....This dash to coal is a missed economic opportunity as well as an environmental disaster. An August, 2015 International Energy Agency study estimates that solar and wind power will be less expensive than coal and natural gas by 2025; a Citigroup study concluded the same with 2030 as the threshold year. Turkey’s climate is optimal for investments in solar and wind: it has a photovoltaic performance factor 50 percent higher than Germany’s, and a wind power potential alone of 275 gigawatts, about four times current total installed generating capacity. (Note: since this column was written the rapidly falling price of solar and wind electric generation has already made these renewable sources less costly in many parts of the world than fossil fuels, already making the more cautious economic estimates of just three years ago obsolete.)

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