1. State-owned Electricity Generation Utility developing new coal reserves in Turkey
The state owned enterprise EÜAŞ (Electricity Generation Utility) has taken the lead role in developing new finance and business models for exploring new local coal reserves, increasing them from 8 billion tons in 2005 up to 15 billion tons in 2016 and making unprofitable coal projects bankable for investors and financiers.
The expansion of coal reserves will be financially secured through tenders that guarantee higher electricity price for suppliers. Through privatization of its coal assets including older, dirtier coal plants which come to retirement age, and major local lignite reserves for both extraction and project development of new coal power plants, EÜAŞ offers favorable access to resources, infrastructure, land and certain exemptions from permit and impact assessment processes. Turkish state has set the price of electricity generated from local coal to about 5 Euro cents per kWh (186 TRY/mWh), which is above wholesale price (2016 average is 140 TRY/MWH), and committed to purchase 6 billion kWh of electricity from the private companies operating local coal fired power stations.

Going dirty when Turkey can go clean – These subsidies and incentives to coal investments (instead of renewable energy) encourage carbon-intensive infrastructure projects over clean energy sources, making unprofitable coal projects bankable for investors and financiers. Moreover, sustainable means of economic activity in the region will be unavailable in the areas where these plants operate while health and pollution costs will be enormous if the regional cumulative impacts of the projects are calculated.

It’s a disaster for the climate and environment – EÜAŞ’s coal assets will add millions of tons of CO2 emissions, impact local communities and ecosystem deeply. Recently, EÜAŞ developed 720 MW of new coal power project Çayırhan B nearby Nallıhan Bird Paradise. The plant will burn 3,850,000 tons of coal, more than 1 million ton of coal ash will spread each year around Turkey’s capital city Ankara and the neighboring villages, where major source of income is agriculture: the dust, emissions and fly ash is expected to spread over 277,000 decares of agricultural land.

No points for Turkey on the international stage – Turkey is a member of G20 which have committed to end inefficient fossil fuel subsidies in 2009. EÜAŞ is not helping to make that happen in Turkey. Turkey is still negotiating EU membership and Chapter 27 on Environment and Climate Change is still open including legislation aimed at transposing the EU's horizontal and framework environmental legislation, including its transboundary aspects. EÜAŞ originated coal power subsidies will increase Turkey’s transboundary pollution which will impact neighboring countries. Finally, Turkey has signed the Paris Agreement, but not ratified yet, and is a candidate to host COP26 in 2020.
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