Regional coal-fired power generating capacity could rise by as much as 15GW or almost 38% if projects currently planned and proposed are built. While Turkey, Israel and Morocco currently have a combined 24.1GW of coal-fired capacity, the UAE and most recently Egypt have now joined Turkey and Morocco in planning further projects.
Although much of the region is hydrocarbon-rich, the governments pursuing new coal projects all face restrictions on using increased volumes of cleaner natural gas for fuelling new electricity capacity. While coal produces more carbon dioxide emissions than other fossil fuels, and is a major source of local air pollution, it is relatively cheap in per kilowatt-hour terms – if carbon capture and storage are not incorporated, as in regional capacity to date. (CONTINUED - 622 WORDS)