Challenges of Coal Based Power Plant

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Challenges of Coal Based Power Plant

According to a recent study, decommissioning old coal based power generation units can save Rs 37,750 crore.

According to a study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water-Center for Energy Finance (CEEW-CEP), coal-based power plants producing around 5 Giga watts of India’s total installed capacity of 300 Giga watts (GW) are more than 25 years old. They can be retired on priority basis.

Key Findings of the Study:

  • Outdated plants, which consume more coal to produce one unit of electricity than their new counterpart, should be shut down. This can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, clean the country’s air and reduce soil and water pollution.
  • Shutting down old power generating plants will result in a one-time cost saving of Rs 102 billion. This money can be spent on retrofits (periodic maintenance) for pollution control to remain in operation.
  • Shutting down inefficient units will provide more options for investment in renewable energy, energy storage, system upgrades etc.
  • Coal-fired and lignite based thermal power plants mainly emit CO2, Nitrous Oxide (NOX), Sulfur Oxide (SOX). In addition, air-borne inorganic particles such as fly ash, carbonaceous matter (soot), suspended particulate matter (SPM) and other trace gases are emitted.
  • Thermal power plants are using about 70% of the total coal produced in India.

Initiatives taken by the Government to improve the efficiency of coal based power plants:-

  • Supercritical technology has been made mandatory for Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs).
  • The term ‘supercritical’ is used for power plants when water reaches its critical point under high pressure (22 mega pascals) and temperature (374 °C).
  • At this point, the amount of energy required to convert water into vapor is reduced. Thus, less coal is used to heat the same amount of water to increase the efficiency of the plant.
  • The emission norms were notified by the Environment Ministry in the year 2015 to establish pollution control technology for all power plants.
  • The Perform Achieve & Trade (PAT) scheme, under the National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency: NMEEE.

Source – The Hindu

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