Comparison of large scale solar PV (photovoltaic) and nuclear power plant investments in an emerging market

Karaveli A. B., SOYTAŞ U., AKINOĞLU B. G.

ENERGY, vol.84, pp.656-665, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 84
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/
  • Journal Name: ENERGY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.656-665
  • Keywords: PV (photovoltaic), Nuclear energy, LCA (life cycle assessment), LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy), CO2, RENEWABLE ENERGY, PERFORMANCE, FUTURE, MODEL, LIFE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


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.