3 April 2021
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has amended rules allowing thermal power plants within 10 kilometres of the National Capital Region (NCR) and in cities with more than 10 lakh population to comply with new emission norms by the end of 2022.
- The new rule has extended the deadline for the thermal power plants within ten kilometres of National Capital Region and in cities with more than ten lakh population to comply with the new emission norms by the end of 2022.
- Earlier these power plants were required to comply with the revised norms by December 2019.
- A task force is to be constituted by the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board). The task force will categorise thermal power plants in three categories based on their location.
- The deadline for the thermal power plants in “Non-Attainment Cities” to meet the emission norms has been extended till December 31, 2023.
- Around 124 such cities have been identified by the CPCB which have failed to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.These are referred to as non-attainment cities.These have consistently failed to meet the above standards.
- The coal fired power plants in the rest of the areas have to comply the new standards by December 2024.
Pollutants from Thermal Power Plants
The pollutants released from a thermal power plant are Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, Suspended Particulate Matter, non-methane hydrocarbons and lead. However, Sulphur Dioxide is the major pollutant released from a thermal power plant.
Sulphur Dioxide in India
- A report from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, states that the Sulphur Dioxide emissions in India declined by 6% in 2019 as compared to 2018.
- India still remains the largest emitter of Sulphur Dioxide.
- India has chosen the Flue Gas Desulphurization technique to reduce the emissions of toxic Sulphur Dioxide.
Flue Gas Desulphurisation
- Flue Gas Desulphurization is the process for the removal of Sulphur Dioxide.
- The method removes gaseous pollutants such as Sulphur Dioxide from exhaust flue gases generated from boilers and furnaces.
- Initially, India had set 2017 as deadline to install Flue Gas Desulphurization Units. However, it was later changed to 2022.