Turkish gov’t vows to make coal-fired plants eco-friendly by 2019
Turkey has pushed the button to transform its outdated coal-fired power plants through the latest technologies to make them much more environmentally friendly, a process that will be completed in 2019, a top official has announced.
Speaking at the Eighth Istanbul International Center for Energy and Climate (IICEC) Forum in Istanbul, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak elaborated on the cabinet’s renewable energy steps, adding that Turkey’s pollution classification must be revised.
“Some 64 percent of the installed power capacity was based on renewable power resources in the first eight months of the year. In terms of the newly-installed power capacity from renewable resources, Turkey became the third in Europe with these numbers. Some 35,874 megawatts, or 44.8 percent, of Turkey’s total installed power capacity at 81,355 MW come from renewable sources,” he said, adding that the Energy Ministry also set the required infrastructure to turn all coal-fired power plants into ecological-friendly facilities.
“We will transform all outdated coal-fired power plants through the latest ecological-friendly technologies. We plan to complete our green investments in these power plants by 2019 in an effort to minimize their negative impacts on public health and nature,” Albayrak said.
He also slammed Turkey’s classification as a polluter and noted the country was one of the least air polluters worldwide.
‘Update needed in Turkey’s ranking’
“It is not fair for Turkey to be put under the same category with the largest polluters, although it is one of the least in this category. Turkey’s greenhouse emission is 5.9-6 tons per capita; much lower than its counterparts in the same category with it, including the United States with 16 tons or Russia with 11 tons,” Albayrak said.
In this vein, Turkey’s ranking in the Paris Climate Agreement needs updating, he added.
At the same conference, organized by Sabancı University’s IICEC, International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol said eco-friendly renewable energy sources have become more prevalent with declining costs.
“Almost two-thirds of the new energy output that will be produced in the next five years will come from renewable energy sources,” he said, adding that a significant decrease in wind power production costs played a key role here.
“Solar power costs are expected to decrease by half by 2020,” Birol noted.
The world’s renewable electricity capacity is set to rise sharply over the next five years, the IEA said in its latest outlook, expanding 43 percent on today’s levels.
The forecast—a significant upwards revision of the IEA’s renewables projections last year—is largely driven by increasing expansion of solar energy in China and India, the Paris-based organization said.