India has tightened pollution norms for coal-based power stations

New standards for coal-based plants will cut down emissions of particulate matter by 65 percent, sulphur dioxide (SO2 ) by 85 percent and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 70 percent over the next decade. India, which has the world’s fourth-highest coal-based capacity, revised its pollution control norms in 2015.

The new norms were introduced given a sharp increase in pollution load from the sector with a massive rise in coal-based capacity in the past ten to 15 years. With the deadline to comply with the new norms by December 2017, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) finds very little progress has been made.

The delay has been largely due to the industry’s reluctance to invest in pollution control systems. The industry has cited technology issues, space constraints, increase in power costs, etc. as bottlenecks. However, after two years of serious scrutiny and discussions with industry experts, manufacturers and regulators a consensus has emerged that these issues can be easily managed. CSE finds that the industry has not taken any serious efforts over the last two years to meet the new norms, for instance, basic data on emissions from power stations are still unavailable.

Also, the regulators who were responsible for monitoring the stations failed to do so. There are several learnings from this delay in implementation. Various issues which arose in the forefront like costs, technology suitability, etc. could have been proactively addressed. Most importantly, regulators should have strictly monitored the progress and publically published the emissions data, which would have assisted in timely implementation.


Stakeholder workshops
Regulator’s Workshop on Power Sector – Compliance and Enforcement
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) organized a regulators workshop to share its report "Clearing the air: Pollution Control Technology options of coal-based power plants’. Eleven senior officials from nine state pollution control boards, where nearly 60 percent of coal generating stations exist, participated in the meeting. 
Meeting on New Environmental Norms with the headline, “A way forward”
CSE initiated a meeting with various stakeholders to create a road map to implement the December 2015 environmental norms for the coal-based power sector,. The meeting saw active participation of around 50 people and proceedings of the meeting were noted elaborately.
Roundtable: The question of 34 GW
Centre for Science and Environment organized a roundtable to discuss the technical parameters to be considered to retire plants which has exceeded their design life and performing inefficiently. Technical parameters and incentive packages were considered in order to come to an effective policy oriented conclusion
Roundtable on Pollution Control Technology options for Coal based power plants
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) organized a roundtable, inviting pollution control equipment manufacturers to discuss various technology options available to meet the recently notified emission limiting standards for coal based power plants.
International Conference on Confronting Environmental challenge
CSE organized an International conference on coal based power and environmental challenge it brings. Representatives from emerging economies including China, India, Indonesia, and South Africa shared their views on the agenda
Report: Delayed Deadline - Analysis of coal power sector’s plan to meet new environmental norms
This study t is an in-depth analysis of the Central Electricity Authority’s regional power committee’s reports. It shows the progress in compliance to the new standards for suspended particulate matter (SPM), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxide(s) of nitrogen (NOx) notified in December 2015.
Policy Brief: Using the National Clean Energy Fund to Clean Coal Power Plants
A policy suggestion on how the NCEF funds can play an instrumental role to clean the coal-based power sector. Its impact is discussed, and a financial analogy is made in accordance with the demands and requirements of the new environment norms that the coal sector has to abide.
BAT report: Clearing the Air: Pollution Control Technology for coal based Power Plants
This report gives a brief on various technological options that are available to meet the new environmental norms by the coal-based thermal power stations.
Stakeholder Workshop Summary: New Environment norms for the Power Secto
This is a briefing on the stakeholders’ response over the new standards that Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) announced regarding coal-based thermal power plants. Details of the conference and the conclusions derived from the discussion are explained in the report
Policy Brief: Shutting old capacity – The 34 GW question
The report analyses the efficiency, tariff of power, availability, load factor, water withdrawal, etc. of power stations that has passed their design life and draws certain criterion limits based on which retirement/replacement of such power stations can be done.