The coal-fired power sector is one of India’s most polluting industrial sectors – coal-fired power plants contributed 60% of the total particulate matter (PM), 45% of the total SO2, 30% of the total NOx, and more than 80% of the total mercury emissions from all industrial sectors in the country in 2020. In response to ongoing environmental concerns, the Indian government has set new emission limits for PM, SO2, NOx and mercury from coal plants. However, this legislation has been hindered by delays and derogations which hinge on the argument that compliance is either too technically challenging for Indian coals or too expensive to implement.
This report discusses the challenges faced by India and the reasons why compliance is slow. Technology options appropriate for India are only briefly summarised. Economics, logistics and political force in India are complex. However, in terms of health effects and GDP within India, compliance with the new emission limits is significantly more cost-effective than non-compliance. It is therefore vital that all stakeholders work together to facilitate compliance in the most cost-effective way. This report is intended to assist stakeholders in the implementation of policies in India. Once informed about the best solutions, both policy- and technology-wise, stakeholders can then conduct true cost-benefit analyses and best describe how their needs create the market for goods and services in India.