Emission control in Thermal Power Station: Key Issues, Challenges and Way Forward
The webinar aims to discuss key financial, regulatory, and technical issues and challenges in controlling emissions at thermal power stationsOn 7th October 2020, 15:00 PM - 17:00 hrs IST
Deployment of pollution control equipment (PCE) such as ESP, FGD, SCR, etc, in thermal power stations, has been very slow and does not seem to be on track for completion by the target dates. While the central sector has awarded bids for most of its capacity, the implementation of PCE in state sector stations is not progressing as required. For PM emission norm compliance, 66 GW TPS capacity has been considered for ESP implementation/upgradation, out of which implementation plan for 65 GW (99%) is already in place. Compliance of SOx norms, however, remains the main concern. As of now, only 1% of the total plant capacity complies with new norms of SOx emission. Out of planned installation of FGD in units aggregating 166GW capacity, bids have been awarded for only for 40GW (24%) thermal capacity, out of which 33 GW capacity is in the central sector. More importantly in the critically polluted areas, awards in respect of only 50% of the plants have been placed for PCE implementation. As mercury abatement from the emission can be achieved as a co-benefit of reduction of NOx, SOx, and dust, a higher degree of focus as of now, therefore is towards the reduction of SOx and NOx emissions.
Economic crises due to the novel virus Covid-19 has made the situation worse. As a result of the national lockdown and slowdown of the economy, power demand was down by about 20-30% as compared to the demand during the corresponding period of 2019. The financial health of DISCOMs, particularly their liquidity position, has been impacted significantly; thereby challenging their ability to pay for increased generation tariffs on account of pollution control equipment. On the other hand, due to reduction in the electricity demand, many coal plants have been getting lower despatch schedules.
TERI, after conducting stakeholder consultation, released a discussion paper in February 2020 which presents issues, challenges, and way forward for emissions control in TPSs. During the stakeholder discussion many concerns related to technology selection, continuity of electricity supply, regulatory aspects, downgrading in merit order dispatch, overall timelines, etc., came to fore and potential measures/way forward were suggested. We plan to take the discussion on the subject forward in the above backdrop and also taking note of the developments in the intervening period – reported relaxation in NOx norms, fall out of non-compliance of norms by the power stations located in NCR within the stipulated time as well as a plea of generating companies seeking more time for compliance to norms, more importantly on account of the challenges accentuated the challenges due to Covid-19 pandemic.