Hyderabad: The Union power ministry has taken a serious note of the pollution caused by the coal-based thermal power plants and has directed all the states across the country to set up Flue Gas desulfurization (FGD) plants in every thermal power station including the new ones, to reduce pollution. People in the surrounding areas are affected from the pollution created by the thermal power plants.
In this regard, the ministry has fixed a deadline for every thermal power plant in all the states. The life of a coal-based thermal power plant is 20 to 25 years. Keeping this in view, Transcos sign the agreement for power supply with thermal power plants for a period of 20 years. As they grow older, the pollution caused by the thermal power plants increases. The coal-based power sector places extraordinary demands on water.
The International Ene-rgy Agency (IEA) estima-tes that thermal power plants account for approxima-tely 330 billion cubic metr-es of water usage globally. Thermal power stations, which uses water to cool the plants, generate around 60 per cent of the electricity produced in India and are run by the government. Even the state-owned thermal power plants in some states are not adopting pollution control systems. Thermal plants use water from rivers, lakes, reservoirs and even sea water. They have a serious impact on land, soil and air. They emit a large amount of mercury and generate a lot of fly-ash which destroys the surrounding environment.
According to experts, coal-fired plants contribute to approximately 60 per cent of the particulate emissions, 45 to 50 per cent of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions, 30 per cent of nitrogen and Oxygen (NOx) emissions and more than 80 per cent of mercury emissions. To discuss the pollution of thermal power plants, the Union power ministry is holding a meeting with energy officials of all the states on June 9 in Delhi. After completing 20 years, the thermal power plants begin to generate more pollutants and their capacity too comes down.
The Union power ministry has directed all the states to shut old thermal power plants which were set up 20 years ago. Some states have asked the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to give them permission to close down their old thermal power plants. The CEA has replied by sending a circular to all the states stating that the states could take their own decision on the retirement of their power units based on their own techno-economic reasons and that they did not need the approval of the CEA the for retiring their power units.
The CEA said that in all cases where the generating company had to take a decision to retire their units, they need to intimate them as they had to incorporate the same in the database of the installed capacity in the country, so that its closure did not result in an adverse effect on the voltage profile which would cause grid instability or overloading. The CEA could accordingly take remedial action....