Coal sector reforms to reduce CO2 emissions

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News: Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has conducted a webinar titled “Reducing CO2 footprints of India’s coal-based power sector”.


Coal Sector:

  • Coal Sector Emissions: India’s coal-based thermal power sector is one of the country’s biggest emitters of CO2.It emits 1.1 giga-tonne of CO2 every year; this is 2.5% of global GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions, one-third of India’s GHG emissions and around 50% of India’s fuel-related CO2 emissions.
  • Future of Coal Sector: Coal will continue to be the mainstay of India’s power generation till at least 2030.It will contribute around 50% of electricity generation mix even in 2030.

Measures to reduce emissions:

  • Improving fleet technology and efficiency, renovating and modernising: India has one of the youngest coal-based thermal plants in the world, with around 64% of the capacity (132 GW) less than a decade old.The government’s renovation and modernisation policies need to play a key role in maintaining the efficiency of this fleet.
  • Planning for the Old Capacity: In 2015, over 34 GW capacity in India was more than 25 years old, and 60% of it was highly inefficient. Increasing India’s renewable electricity generation can help further the cause to accelerate the retirement of old and inefficient plants.
  • Propagate biomass co-firing: It is a low-cost option for efficiently and cleanly converting biomass to electricity by adding biomass as a partial substitute fuel in high-efficiency coal boilers.
  • Invest in Carbon Capture and Storage(CCS): It is the process of capturing waste carbon dioxide, transporting it to a storage site, and depositing it where it will not enter the atmosphere.
  • Promote Coal beneficiation: It is a process by which the quality of raw coal is improved by either reducing the extraneous matter that gets extracted along with the mined coal or reducing the associated ash or both.
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