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Quarterly Newsletter by CSE
July, 2022
Editor's Note
  Dear Readers,

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is a public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi. CSE researches into, lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable and equitable.

The Industrial Pollution team at CSE brings you its latest work in the coal thermal power sector in form of this newsletter. As India pledges to gradually move away from coal, our team at CSE, closely follows up on the interesting developments in the field as we strive to keep you updated about the changing scenario in the power sector.

In the last 4 months, my colleagues have travelled extensively to different regions, engaged with multiple stakeholders, to understand and bring you the perspective from field investigations and data analysis.

We bring to you our analysis on the PAT scheme for thermal power sector, status of compliance with emission norms, uncover the weakness in the current fly ash notification, highlight the gaps in adoption of biomass cofiring by thermal power plants and comment on the ongoing power crisis in the country.

Also included in this newsletter are articles and updates on coal shortage, fly ash pollution, and latest notifications by Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Ministry of Power, and Central Electricity Authority.

We have also included information on CSE’s training programmes for your kind perusal. I would encourage you to participate in our training programmes and invite others too.

I hope you will enjoy reading this issue of the newsletter and send your valuable feedback to us.

Nivit Kumar Yadav
Director, Industrial Pollution Unit
Decarbonizing Coal Thermal Power Sector
Biomass co-firing: Why India’s target for coal power plants is challenging?

The Union Ministry of Power has made it mandatory for coal thermal power plants to substitute 5-10 per cent coal with agricultural residue for co-firing. Unavailability of biomass pellets is emerging as a dampener in implementing the Union power ministry’s direction.
Read more
Biomass co-firing: NTPC retrofits 13 power stations. Will other companies be able to follow suit?

CSE interviewed five companies to understand the on-ground situation of co-firing of biomass and coal in thermal power plants. The power plants continue to struggle with storage concerns and irregular supply of pellets.
Read more
PAT: Centre’s decarbonisation scheme not effective enough, says new CSE report

Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) was introduced in 2008 by the government to improve energy efficiency in industries and consequently reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Thermal power plants under this scheme in the last decade had reduced just 1-2 per cent of overall carbon dioxide emissions emitted by them.
Read more
Emission Norms: Changing Goalposts
Polluting coal power plants may get blanket 20-year extension of compliance deadlines

Union Ministry of Power (MoP) May 5 again sought for another extension in deadlines for coal thermal power plants to meet the emission norms.
Read more
Environment ministry finalises coal thermal power plant categories: What does it say about emission norms compliance

In April 2021, the MoEF&CC amended the 2015 notification to put coal thermal power plants under three categories. Nearly 78 per cent of the coal power capacity is placed under Category C with 2024 as revised deadline.
Read more
India’s coal power sector continues to disregard water norms: CSE report

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) rolled out norms to curtail water usage by thermal power plants way back in 2015, but compliance continues to remain dismal.
Read more
Shifting Dynamics Of Coal Power
India’s growing power crisis: Newer, efficient plants lying idle may have role to play

CSE analysis shows that approximately 12 GW of the power plants in India that are less than 20 years old are grossly underutilised as these plants do not have long term power purchase agreements with the power distribution companies
Read more
Coal crisis: Why Delhi’s coal stock is critical & what other states are doing

Delhi currently generates 1,107 megawatts of electricity and imports 4,154 MW from the neighbouring states. The climate anomaly leading to the early onset of heatwaves in India has had an unprecedented effect on the power supply planning,
Read more
Cutting back coal: Global effort hits Chinese wall

A recently released annual survey report finds that the total global coal power capacity under development declined marginally in 2021, though China continued to increase domestic development of coal power capacity.
Read more
India’s coal demand to increase to 1.5 billion tonnes by 2030: Economic Survey 2021-22

The demand for coal in the country is expected to be in the range of 1.3-1.5 billion tonnes by 2030, according to the Economic Survey 2021-22, despite the push for renewable energy.
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Record demand for coal power in 2021, way off Net Zero: IEA

Coal power generation has increased 12 per cent in India and 9 per cent in China in FY 2021-22, says International Energy Agency (IEA), a Paris-based energy research unit. However, on the supply side, coal production did not keep pace with demand, stated the Coal 2021 Report.
Read more
Fly Ash Conundrum
Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission: Will it boost handling, disposal of by-product

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the constitution of a ‘Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission’ in its order dated January 18, 2022.
Read more
Environment ministry issues new draft notification on fly ash with ‘polluter pays’ principle

The new notification on fly ash recognises the issue of legacy waste and introduces a penalty regime for non-compliance with fly ash norms from coal thermal power plants.
Read more
More Updates
  UNION MINISTRY OF POWER: Power ministry earmarks 81 thermal units to move coal to renewable by 2026  
  The Ministry of Power in its letter dated 26th May, 2022, to top energy department officials of state and federal government, identified 81 thermal units which will replace coal with renewable capacity by 2026.  
  MOEF&CC: No environmental clearance needed for expansion of coal mines upto 50 per cent  
  To tackle the current coal exigency in the country, the Ministry as a special dispensation, allowed coal mining projects that have been granted expansion of EC upto 40% of original EC capacity, shall be granted permission for another 10 per cent without requiring EIA/EMP report and public consultation.  
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Heat on Power
Green rating of coal-based power plants

Coal plays a critical role in our energy mix, providing over 70 per cent of India’s electricity supply. It is likely to remain a mainstay for several more years, given India’s immense power needs and domestic availability of coal.
Read more
Norms in Name Alone

A task-force committee led by the Central Pollution Control Board issued revised deadlines for power plants last December.This report discusses the current status of compliance with the norms, it analyses sector-wise status, and highlights the states that need to accelerate the rate of compliance with the emission norms and proposes measures that can improve the system.
Read more
Water Inefficient Power

This report reveals the current status of compliance of India's coal-power fleet with respect to implementation of 2015 water norms. It highlights how the water-guzzling coal-power industry is ignoring water regulations with high non-compliance observed in the sector even after six years since the norms were introduced.
Read more
New Systems, Old habit
Using Data from Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems in Coal-based Thermal Power Stations

India implemented an automated pollution monitoring system in the last decade in order to improve compliance and enforcement of pollution norms in industries. CSE’s study finds this system is still in its infancy, and much more work is needed to mainstream it as a compliance tool
Read more
You Tube Videos
Why is there a coal crisis in India? (April, 2022) Discussion on the new amendment to TPP emission standards notification 2015 in India,15th April 2021
Fly Ash Utilisation in India  
  To share your feedback, please contact  
Anubha Aggarwal
Programme Officer
Industrial Pollution Unit, CSE
Sowmiya Kannappan
Programme Officer
Industrial Pollution Unit, CSE