Turkey to introduce incentives, environmental exemptions for coal-fired power plants
Aysel Alp - ANKARAThe government is set to reintroduce a number of incentives and environmental exemptions, which had been canceled by the Constitutional Court over ecological concerns, for coal-fired power plants.
The draft law will pave the way for all privatized coal-fired power plants to be exempted from environmental regulations until 2020, according to sector players.
These power plants will also able to benefit from renewable energy incentives when any power shortage emerges, they added.
Chamber of Environmental Engineers head Baran Bozoğlu is critical of the move, describing it as a “threat to public health.”
“If this draft is approved and becomes law, there will be no need for any coal-fired power plants to install filtration systems or to dispose of their waste properly,” Bozoğlu said.
“Coal-fired power plants are outdated and threaten public health and the environment,” he added.
The government had earlier introduced an exception for coal-fired power plants until 2021 in making ecologically-friendly investments through a temporary article added to the Electricity Market Law in 2013.
But this regulation was canceled by the Constitutional Court in 2014 after a joint application by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and environmental groups, noting that the article was against people’s right to live in a healthy environment.
The Turkish government has vowed to increase its coal-fired power generation in the coming period in a bid to reduce Turkey’s dependence on imported resources.
In line with the government’s plans, 90 coal-fired power plant projects are underway with the aim of adding 18,500 MW installed power capacity by 2023.