Suggested Citation: Garg, Vibhuti, Danwant Narayanaswamy, Karthik Ganesan, and Balasubramanian Viswanathan. 2019. India’s Energy Transition: The Cost of Meeting Air Pollution Standards in the Coal-fired Electricity Sector. Winnipeg: International Institute for Sustainable Development.
The issue brief, published in collaboration with IISD, examines the cost of compliance for coal-fired power plants to meet air pollution standards, and implicit subsidies associated with non-compliance.
Coal-fired power plants produce a range of externalities including the impact of local and regional air pollution on human health. In 2015, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) legislated new standards to limit the concentration of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx ), particulate matter (PM) and mercury (Hg) in stack emissions for coal-fired power plants. However, by December 2017, almost no coal plant had complied with the norms and the deadline was extended to 2022.
This issue brief highlights: the reasons for slow progress made by coal power plants; the cost of installing pollution-control equipment for the sector and implications on the electricity price; the cost of externalities related to human health; and a comparison of the cost of installing pollution-control equipment with phasing out non-complying coal plants.