Coal exit is essential to achieve climate goals.

WWF-Turkey and the Sustainable Economics and Finance Research Association (SEFiA)  jointly prepared a report to assess the economic feasibility and the burden on the public budget of the planned coal-fired power plant in Dinar, Afyonkarahisar. 

Overcoming the Contradiction: Turkey’s Green Revolution and New Coal Investment Plans” report analyzes that even under the lowest-cost scenario, without measures in line with Turkey’s 2053 net-zero target, the planned power plant in Dinar will only be profitable 18 years after it starts operations.  

The report also reveals the economic feasibility of the planned coal-fired power plant in the Dinar district of Afyon and the burden it will bring to the public budget. There are 19 thermal power plant plans in Turkey, in addition to those already in operation. The Dinar Power Plant, which is planned to have an installed capacity of 500 MW and run on domestic coal, is one of them. 

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If the Dinar Thermal Power Plant is realized, the report proposes that even under the lowest-cost scenario – where measures are not taken in line with Turkey’s 2053 net-zero target – the plant will only be profitable 18 years after it starts operations.  On the other hand, if the plant is built with a technology that takes into account Turkey’s 2053 net-zero emissions target and captures and stores 90% of its emissions, the present value of the loss at the end of its operational life is US$230 million. The analysis in the report reveals that it is not economically feasible for coal-fired power plants in Turkey to operate in line with climate targets.

The report also offers a deep dive into health impacts, loss of agricultural production and carbon costs due to the pollution caused by the planned plant in the upper basin of the Büyük Menderes River. Taking into account the incentives already offered to thermal power plants (capacity payments and purchase guarantees), the burden of the Dinar Power Plant on the public budget could reach 1.4 billion Euros per year.” 

Aslı Pasinli, WWF-Turkey Executive Director, evaluated that coal is not nature and climate-friendly, nor economically viable: The data released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last week showed us once again that we need to accelerate our energy transformation as soon as possible in order to meet the 1.5-degree target in the fight against the climate crisis. The cost increase seen in the last year, which reached very high levels, especially with the Ukraine crisis, is another concrete proof that we need to end our dependence on fossil fuels and establish an energy system based on renewable energy. At this point, the Dinar report makes it clear that coal, even if it is domestic, is not nature and climate-friendly, nor is it an economic solution. Turkey should abandon new coal investments and plan to phase out coal by 2030 in order to reach the net zero target.

Bengisu Özenç, SEFiA Director, highlighted the great risks that the system carries associated with fuel dependence: In a multi-crisis environment where climate and health crises come together with economic crises, the Russia-Ukraine war has once again shown us the great risks of a global system dependent on fossil fuels. Upon ratification of the Paris Agreement and announcement of its goal of becoming net-zero by 2053, Turkey needs to use renewable resources in its energy investment preferences at a time when energy independence is at the forefront. In this way, it will be able to make a choice in harmony with climate targets by not condemning itself to a fossil fuel-dependent infrastructure in the medium-long term, and as mentioned in the report, it will be able to avoid the direct and indirect costs of fossil fuels.

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