Air pollution: new standards for power plants could soften the blow of farms | India News

Air pollution: new standards for power plants could soften the blow of farms |  India News

NEW DELHI: In what could be one of the effective ways to address the problem of air pollution from stubble burning, all coal-fired power plants in Delhi-NCR and adjacent areas will be required to use a mixture of at least 5% crop residue pellets with charcoal each year.
The Ministry of the Environment has published draft rules in this regard, providing for a penalty (environmental compensation) for non-compliant power plants from the compliance year 2024-25.
The final rules – called the Rules for the Use of Agricultural Residue by Thermal Power Plants, 2023 – will be notified after two months incorporating stakeholder views on the draft, released on Thursday. The ministry asked experts and others interested in raising objections or suggestions on the proposals to submit their comments within 60 days.
“It is a good decision that will help reduce the scattered burning of crop residues and generate energy for electricity consumption by avoiding the need for coal. It will also help reduce air pollution caused through stubble burning, as power plants will have better pollution control devices to control pollution at the source,” said Sunil Dahiyaanalyst, Energy and Clean Air Research Center (CREA).
Once the rules come into effect, 12 coal-fired power plants will have to follow mandatory usage standards that fall under areas that coincide with the remit of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM). Non-compliant power plants will have to pay for graduated environmental compliance according to the amount set under article 2 of the rules in terms of unit of electricity produced.
“This notification shall be treated as a change in law for the purposes of tariff determination by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission or State Regulatory Commissionsas applicable, with respect to compliance with (relevant) Clause 2,” the department said.
The government, meanwhile, has ordered all thermal power plants to set up biomass pellet manufacturing plants (toasted/un-roasted) on their premises or in cluster-based models, including thermal power plants in the sector. private. Relevant state governments have been instructed to facilitate the provision of land for the installation of pellet manufacturing units.

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