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Solar + wind as cheap as coal to meet Turkey’s future energy needs

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Turkey could meet its growing energy needs between now and 2030 just as cheaply with a mix of renewable energy resources as with a mix of fossil fuels and coal, a new study has found.

The study, by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, found that the government of Turkey could expand electricity supply and cut dependence on imported natural gas, without adopting the coal-led strategy laid out in its official plans, but through investment in a mix of clean energy technologies instead.

BNEF found both approaches would cost roughly the same – around $US400 billion – but the latter  would have the added benefits of reduced electricity emissions and improved energy security.

Currently, the Turkish government plans to meet a projected growth in national power demand of more than 5 per cent a year by 2030 mainly by building new coal-fired plants, in an effort that is focused on cutting the country’s reliance on natural-gas imports.

According to the BNEF report, a renewables approach, drawing heavily on wind and solar PV, would do the same job for around the same price mainly by taking advantage of expected significant reductions in the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) per MWh for both technologies over the next 15 years.bozcaada-wind-turbines-560x420

“This study shows that Turkey could pursue a cleaner energy development pathway to 2030 at similar costs to the coal-based plan that is being proposed, at the same time as limiting some risks,” said Michael Liebreich, chairman of the BNEF advisory board.

“Total costs would be similar and, while there might be some extra grid improvement and balancing costs, there would be reduced exposure to commodity prices, as well as reduced carbon emissions and air pollution, which has been such a blight for coal-based economies.”

Tolga Baştak, the CEO of WWF-Turkey, who commissioned the analysis, said the study showed there was no valid reason for Turkey not to choose clean energy to meet its future power demands.

“WWF-Turkey believes that 100% renewable energy is vital for meeting the twin goals of climate change mitigation and energy security.
“As a start, Turkey needs to ramp up its renewable energy target to 50% by 2030,” he said.  

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  • Alan Baird

    Throw in a major effort in energy efficiency to complement the energy alternatives and an even better long term result occurs. Energy efficiency is so often overlooked in the rush to fix the electricity supply instead of reducing the magnitude of the task.