We examine and compare economic feasibilities and environmental effects of two energy investments options in Turkey: a NE-PP (nuclear power plant) in Mersin province on the Mediterranean coast and a large scale photovoltaic solar energy power plant (PV-PP) to be built in a governmentally reserved land area in mid-south Anatolia, namely Karapinar Energy Specialized Industrial Zone (Karapinar-ESIZ). Total installed power of both plants is taken to be 4800 MW, which is the contracted value for the four units of NE-PP. In terms of investments and energy outputs, both options have their respective advantages and disadvantages over the other. While PV-PP is cheaper without land cost, NE-PP produces quite more electricity throughout its lifetime. Applying a tool to calculate the emission factor for an electricity system (taken from UNFCCC), although NE-PP has more cumulative CO2 emission reduction potential than PV-PP, PV-PP seems slightly more advantageous in terms of CO2 reduction per unit of produced electricity. PV-PP needs more land area than NE-PP; however, it requires considerably less time for commissioning and decommissioning. The outcomes of the study notably reveal that the NE-PP has a payback only if inflation rate is taken into consideration in the unit electricity price, while PV-PP pays back with and without inflation rate. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.