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CSE Newsletter
September, 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, lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable and equitable.

Industrial Pollution team at CSE brings you its latest work in the coal thermal power sector in form of this newsletter. As the countries pledge 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.

I am happy to share the second edition of our newsletter with you. The first edition of the newsletter received overwhelming response and it has encouraged us to continue bringing you our analysis of the latest developments in the coal power sector.

Over the last three months, dynamics of coal power generation continue to shift globally due to collective impact of climate change, and ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Countries are hoarding up coal, and fired up coal power plants again to ensure energy security in the longer term.

Domestically, the deadlines for coal power generators to meet the emission norms for nitrogen dioxide were diluted once again. There has also been much debate on the draft electricity (amendment) bill and energy conservation (amendment) bill. Amidst this, unanimous decision of the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly to not allow coal block allocation in the Hasdeo Aranya forest, and the National Green Tribunal directing states for better management and awareness regarding fly ash management-gives hope for a better regulatory regime in the future.

Also included in this newsletter are articles and updates on government’s plan to decarbonise power plants through biomass co-firing and CAG’s findings of the violation of norms by some of the coal power plants. 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 Plants
Why we may have missed the bus on ensuring paddy co-firing in Delhi-NCR coal plants this year
By: Anubha Aggarwal

The Union Ministry of Power (MoP) in August, 2022, directed states and Union Territories to formulate time-bound implementation plans to ensure biomass (agro-residue) co-firing in coal power plants in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
Read more
Emission Norms: Changing Goalposts
Are we equipped to meet 2022 deadline on emission standards?
By: Anubha Aggarwal

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), in its 2015notification, introduced emission norms for coal-based thermal power plants (TPP). Almost seven years since the notification, not even 7 per cent of India’s coal capacity meets the standards issued by the MoEF&CC.
Read more
Environment takes backseat: MoEF&CC extends SOx compliance deadline again
By: Nivit Kumar Yadav

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEf&CC) September 5, 2022 once again granted more time to the thermal power plants for meeting the sulphur dioxide (SOx) standards.
Read more
CSE’s press releaseon MoEF&CC’s latest amendment to the 2015 notification on emission norms

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has strongly criticised the environment ministry’s latest amendment to the 2015 notification on emission norms for coal-based thermal power plants.
Read more
Environmental Norms Violations
CAG finds irregularities, violation of environmental norms by power generation companies
By: Himanshu Nitinware

The Comptroller Auditor General (CAG), in its recent report, has found a series of irregularities in the three public sector energy companies audited by it.The CAG published the report August 3, 2022.
Read more
Changing Energy Dynamics / Shifting Dynamics of Coal Power
New Energy Conundrum
By: Sunita Narain

Our energy-guzzling world is on the cusp. It could find a way to leverage the current crisis of energy scarcity and rising prices to reinvent the fossil fuel-based system. Or, it could reinvest in the same carbon-intensive energy system as people in the already rich countries get increasingly desperate for reliable and affordable power to light and heat their homes this coming winter season.
Read more
Europe Hypocrisy: Amid shift to coal, what about climate goals?
By: Binit Das

Europe that lectures others on coal use and browbeat developing countries on their climate goals has conveniently shifted to coal because it needs energy.Germany has fired up its coal plants again. The Netherlands has removed limits on production from coal plants. Denmark may do the same. Italy has declared a state of alert on energy.
Read more
Fly Ash Conundrum
NGT order on Korba: Can it improve fly ash disposal, utilisation in India
By: Sowmiya Kannappan

The green tribunal on September 19, 2022 noted that there was an urgent need to augment the utilisation and disposal of fly ash in Chhattisgarh.  The situation in Korba is grim as it is the hub of coal thermal power plants containing 15 state, central and private-owned electricity generating plants.
Read more
Panipat Thermal Power Station dumping fly ash illegally: NGT directs the committee to look into the matter
By: India Environment Portal

Application has been filed by a resident of village Sutana, Panipat in the NGT. The applicant claims that the Panipat thermal power plant, which is based on coal, dumps fly ash residue in the nearby area. Fly ash particles are flying in the nearby villages Sutana, Jatal, Khukhrana, Untla, Aasan.
Read more
Coal Mining Concerns
Chhattisgarh Assembly passes resolution against Hasdeo coal mining
By: DTE staff

Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution July 27, 2022 urging the Centre to cancel allocation of coal blocks in HasdeoAranya forests.Tribal communities and activists have been opposing coal mining in the forests for a long time, fearing damage to its biodiversity.
Read more
Energy Conservation and Electricity Amendment Bills
All you need to know about Energy Conservation Bill
By: Maitreyi Karthik

The Lok Sabha passed Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2022 August 9, 2022. The bill brings in a list of amendments to the Energy Conservation Act 2001 to promote energy efficiency and conservation. The bill focuses on energy transition, favouring renewable energy sources and green hydrogen.
Read more
Will the Bill on Electricity Amendment change the power sector for the better?
By: Maitreyi Karthik

The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 8. It proposes significant changes related to contract enforcement, payment security, energy transition and the need to provide a choice to consumers — wherein they can choose among multiple licensees to promote competition.
Read more
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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

Brief of the report – A task-force committee led by the Central Pollution Control Board issued revised deadlines for power plants last December. The coal power plants were put under three categories based on the distance of its stack from non-attainment cities,
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.
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
  To share your feedback, please contact  
Anubha Aggarwal
Programme Officer
Industrial Pollution Unit, CSE
Sowmiya Kannappan
Programme Officer
Industrial Pollution Unit, CSE