Turkey's electricity generation through domestic coal burning plants is to double in five years, according to the Energy Ministry's Strategic Plan released on Thursday.
According to the plan, consumption of domestic coal in electricity production will increase from around 33 billion kWh to 60 billion kWh by 2019.
"All known lignite and coal resources will be used for electricity production," said Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz
"We seek to increase the usage of domestic coal to produce electricity up to 60 billion kilowatt-hours per year, by 2019," Yildiz said.
"Turkey's installed capacity in electricity will be increased from 68,000 to above 110,000 megawatts," Yildiz said, adding that, "Electricity production in Turkey, which is around 240 billion kilowatt-hours, will be increased to around 416 billion by 2023."
Turkey is second in the world after China in terms of rising demand for electricity. Demand in Turkey almost doubled in the past decade and is expected to double again by 2023. With electricity consumption rising each year, Turkey is seeking to decrease its energy bill, which is currently about $60 billion annually. In order to match the rate of increase, Turkey aims to invest more than $120 billion in the energy sector alone in the next decade.
Coal is the world's primary electricity generating resource, providing around 40 percent of global electricity, according to reports from the International Energy Agency. The major economies of the world, such as the U.S., China and Germany remain the biggest coal consumers, while the highest share of electricity generation from these countries comes from coal.
Currently, Turkey uses around 37 percent of its current lignite and coal reserves.
The new plan announced the necessary strategies required in order to reach its goals, which include new private sector investment in coal, rehabilitation, modernization and upgrades in current coal electricity generation systems and privatization of the publicly-owned coal reserves.
According to energy ministry, Turkey's electricity generation relies around 45 percent on natural gas, 25 percent on hydro plants and 12 percent each on domestic coal, lignite and on coal exports and the rest on other resources.
Meanwhile, according to the IEA, out of the global electricity generation, coal provides 41 percent, 21.3 percent comes from natural gas, 15.9 percent from Hydro, 13.5 percent in Nuclear, 5.5 percent from oil plants and other resources provide 2.8 percent.
By Ata Ufuk Seker