Cleaning up coal plants and promoting renewable energy go hand in hand

Cleaning up coal plants and promoting renewable energy go hand in hand

On February 27 and 28, 2017, two articles were published in this newspaper which quoted the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) extensively regarding the ongoing discussions on the implementation of pollution standards for coal-based thermal power plants. The one titled “Thermal power plant emissions: MoEFCC zeroes in on FGD, environmentalists say tech outdated”suggested that CSE is pushing outdated and expensive technology to reduce sulphur dioxide (SOx) emissions. The other “Environment lobby split, TERI harps on mix of renewable and storage, CSE says coal power here to stay” said that CSE is not in favour of renewable energy and wants coal power to stay. Both these suggestions are far removed from reality; CSE’s views have been misrepresented in both the cases.

CSE firmly believes that India’s growing needs can be met only by “considering all options.” CSE does not believe that the debate at this point is either renewables or coal. We strongly support the development of renewable energy, especially to meet the needs of 300 million Indians who do not have access to electricity. But the fact remains that all reports by major think tanks including the Central Electricity Authority (CEA)agree that although little additional coal power capacity is needed over the next decade in India, coal will continue to be a significant source of electricity generation in the coming two decades. CSE’s own estimates show that if we meet the 175GW renewable energy target by 2022, we can manage to get close to 50% of our electricity requirements from non-fossil fuels by 2031-32; coal and gas would still supply the remaining half of our electricity requirements.Read More…

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