Environment ministry publishes draft on new rules and public can send their comments
GN Bureau | May 20, 2015
As India takes lead in world climate change policies, the ministry of environment, forests and climate change has drafted new emission and water consumption standards for thermal power plants.
The draft notification has been published on the ministry’s website and the public comments are allowed for next one month. Final norms are expected to be announced after a 30-day comment period.
Draft notification: click here
These new standards seek tighter norms that are expected to cut down emissions of particulate matter (PM) and other harmful chemical compounds to a large degree. Proposed standards for new plants (after 2017) will cut down emissions of particulate matter by 25 per cent, sulphur dioxide (SO2) by 90 per cent, nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 70 per cent and mercury by 75 per cent compared with the state-of-the-art plants
The new norms will also require all existing cooling tower-based plants to restrict water consumption to 3.5 cubic metre per watt hour.
Also, all existing once-through-cooling (OTC) system plants will need to be replaced with cooling tower-based systems that consume no more than 4 m3/MWh. This can have a remarkable reduction in freshwater withdrawal up to 80 per cent. The cumulative decrease is set to be from around 22 billion cubic metre in 2011-12 to around 4.5 billion cubic metre in 2016-17.
Compared with the industry-average, the emissions cut will be significant. For instance, the particulate emission norm for an average Indian power plant is 150 milligram per normal cubic metre (mg/Nm3). Under the proposed standards, a plant installed in 2017 will have to meet a particulate standard of 30 mg/Nm3 – a reduction of 80 per cent.
The new norms will require all existing cooling tower-based plants to restrict water consumption to 3.5 cubic metre per watt hour (m3/MWh). Plants which will be set up after January 2017 have to achieve 2.5 m3/MWh. Also, all existing once-through-cooling (OTC) system plants will need to be replaced with cooling tower-based systems that consume no more than 4 m3/MWh. This can have a remarkable reduction in freshwater withdrawal by thermal power plants – cumulatively, freshwater withdrawal will decrease from around 22 billion cubic metre in 2011-12 to around 4.5 billion cubic metre in 2016-17, an 80 per cent dip.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi, has lauded the move. CSE Deputy Director General Chandra Bhushan said: "We welcome this move. It will have an impact on the pollution caused by the thermal power sector in India."
A report prepared by the CSE early this year had recommended tighter norms to help curb pollution. Other than PM emissions, which are projected to drop by 25 per cent, a number of other highly polluting chemicals are also set to be curbed. This include sulphur dioxide (SO2) by 90 per cent, nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 70 per cent and mercury by 75 per cent. India currently has standards only for PM, which are quite lax compared to global norms.
The CSE had also released its environmental rating of the coal-based thermal power sector, under its Green Rating Project. Forty seven plants, adding up to 55 per cent of the nation's capacity ranked poorly on all the parameters. The disproportionately high pollution levels had attracted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's attention, prompting budgetary support of additional Rs 100 per tonne cess on coal that will be used to invest in clean generation.
To counter Beijing’s aggressive agenda in the Indian Ocean, New Delhi is seeking to create strategic bastions in Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar. The immediate provocation was China’s inauguration of its first overseas military base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa.
Just after the UP assembly election in 1996, I was among the scores of reporters waiting at Kalyan Singh’s residence, waiting to get the first inkling of the future course of the BJP. The party had secured the maximum seats – 174 out of 425 seats – but was short of the majority mark
“Company Secretaries, once known as secretaries to the board and management, have transformed themselves into key managerial and governance professionals. Today they are recognised for their importance on corporate landscape and have become gatekeepers of corporate governance,” said Ajay Tyagi,
Any good news which promises to bring about qualitative improvement in the lives of people, especially in rural India, is always welcome. It was heartening indeed to learn that every single village in the country now has access to electricity, as announced by the prime minister on April 29. This is most ce
The paved road, the few concrete houses and men on motorcycles – these are deceptive signs of development in Madralalpur village. Only a couple of weeks ago, Babu, a 47-year-old distressed farmer, had hanged himself from a babool tree. Villagers were gathered at his house as his wife, mother, sister-
Statistics has come a long way from the time when British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli observed: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Statistics is now an accredited branch of applied mathematics; statistical methods are routinely used to prove or disprove the