Combusting fossil fuel is the conventional approach to initiate a set of chemical reactions, which releases stored energy as heat, carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), nitrogen oxides (NO x ) and other pollutants. Among all fossil fuels, coal, used in nearly 40% of the world’s power production, when combust-ed, releases several other harmful pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ), mercury, particulate mat-ter, volatile organic compounds (VOC s ), lead and arsenic. i In modern coal power plants, as required by regulations that are common in the OECD, these harmful chemicals and heavy metals must be removed from the flue gas using various pollution control technologies. However, these regulations do not govern the emissions of CO 2 since CO 2 does not contribute to local pollution and happens to be the inevitable and most stable oxidation product of any hydrocarbon.
It is well known that the energy sector is contributing to a significant rise in the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHG s ) that cause more heat to be absorbed by the Earth than is radiated back out into space. It is estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the concentration of GHG s is going to reach dangerous levels if future GHG emissions from the energy sector are not significantly reduced. ii Several models, for example, the Interna-tional Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Perspectives model, show that the energy sector can-not achieve a safe level of emissions unless coal use is almost entirely curtained or if CO 2 is sepa-rated from the coal power plant instead of being emitted into the atmosphere and the CO 2 stored in deep reservoirs or otherwise used. iii
Since Turkey has huge domestic coal reserves, coal power is a source of electricity that can con-tribute to Turkey’s energy security. While Turkey’s emissions of CO 2 are small compared to those of other developing countries such as China and India, the rest of Europe or the United States, international agreements like the Paris Accord aim to achieve a world-wide collective effort from all countries. Consequently, carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) could be important to Turkey given Turkey’s large coal reserves and desire to use domestic energy resources as a source of energy security and to reduce its energy import bill. CCUS is the set of methods and technolo-gies that removes CO 2 from the emissions and prevents them from leaking into the atmosphere. In this study, we focus on the application of aqueous Monoethanolamine (MEA) scrubbing method as a well-proven carbon capture (CC) technology on the Turkish coal-fired power plants. We investigate the economic and environmental impacts of MEA scrubbing technology in the context of the Turkish energy market. For the sake of completeness, we consider nine storage candidates, one domestic CO 2 -enhanced oil recovery in Batman, and an emissions trading market. A mixed-integer nonlinear programming model (MINLP) is developed based on regulations and techno-economic factors. Equilibrium solutions of the proposed model are obtained regarding independent and coordinated actions of power plants. Finally, managerial insights are proposed.