Compliance Status of Coal-Based Power Plants

India’s coal-fired power plants are facing challenges in installing flue gas de-sulfurisation (FGD) systems, which are crucial for controlling sulphur dioxide emissions and reducing air pollution. A recent analysis conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) highlights the low installation rate of FGD systems and the implications for emission norms compliance.  

Low Installation Rate of FGD Systems 

According to the CSE analysis, only 5% of India’s coal-fired power plants have installed FGD systems. This indicates a significant gap in meeting the emission control requirements set by the Union environment ministry in December 2015. 

Delays and Challenges 

The report identifies several reasons for the slow progress in FGD installation. The dependency on the external market for FGD components, the novelty of the technology in the Indian market, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to delays in implementation. 

Emission Norms Compliance 

The analysis reveals that a substantial percentage of capacity near Delhi-NCR and cities with a population of 1 million or more (43%), critically polluted areas (11%), and the remaining capacity (1%) are unlikely to meet the emission norms by the latest deadlines. This raises concerns about the potential air pollution impact in these regions. 

Time and Investment Required 

Installing FGD systems is a time-consuming process, typically taking around two years. The CSE report estimates the likelihood of power plants meeting emission norms based on their compliance stage and the remaining time until the deadlines. Urgent action is needed to ensure timely compliance. 

Importa4nce of Emission Control 

The CSE report emphasizes the need for compliance with emission norms and highlights that power plant emissions can contribute to air pollution beyond their boundaries. The impact of air pollution on public health and the environment necessitates effective pollution control measures. 



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