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Assessing the Environmental Sustainability of Electricity Generation in Turkey on a Life Cycle Basis

Author

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  • Burcin Atilgan

    () (School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, The University of Manchester, The Mill, Room C16, Sackville Street, Manchester M13 9PL, UK)

  • Adisa Azapagic

    () (School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, The University of Manchester, The Mill, Room C16, Sackville Street, Manchester M13 9PL, UK)

Abstract

Turkey’s electricity mix is dominated by fossil fuels, but the country has ambitious future targets for renewable and nuclear energy. At present, environmental impacts of electricity generation in Turkey are unknown so this paper represents a first attempt to fill this knowledge gap. Taking a life cycle approach, the study considers eleven impacts from electricity generation over the period 1990–2014. All 516 power plants currently operational in Turkey are assessed: lignite, hard coal, natural gas, hydro, onshore wind and geothermal. The results show that the annual impacts from electricity have been going up steadily over the period, increasing by 2–9 times, with the global warming potential being higher by a factor of five. This is due to a four-fold increase in electricity demand and a growing share of fossil fuels. The impact trends per unit of electricity generated differ from those for the annual impacts, with only four impacts being higher today than in 1990, including the global warming potential. Most other impacts are lower from 35% to two times. These findings demonstrate the need for diversifying the electricity mix by increasing the share of domestically-abundant renewable resources, such as geothermal, wind, and solar energy.

Suggested Citation

  • Burcin Atilgan & Adisa Azapagic, 2016. "Assessing the Environmental Sustainability of Electricity Generation in Turkey on a Life Cycle Basis," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jeners:v:9:y:2016:i:1:p:31-:d:61863
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kömürcü, Murat İhsan & Akpınar, Adem, 2009. "Importance of geothermal energy and its environmental effects in Turkey," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1611-1615.
    2. Santoyo-Castelazo, E. & Gujba, H. & Azapagic, A., 2011. "Life cycle assessment of electricity generation in Mexico," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 1488-1499.
    3. Pascale, Andrew & Urmee, Tania & Moore, Andrew, 2011. "Life cycle assessment of a community hydroelectric power system in rural Thailand," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2799-2808.
    4. Weisser, Daniel, 2007. "A guide to life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electric supply technologies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1543-1559.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:6:p:1700-:d:148536 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2018:i:6:p:1412-:d:150020 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2018:i:9:p:2346-:d:168002 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:rensus:v:90:y:2018:i:c:p:945-956 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    electricity generation; environmental impacts; life cycle assessment; Turkey;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • Q47 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy Forecasting
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q49 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Other

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