Air Pollution Control and Coal-Fired Power Generation in the Indian Subcontinent
AUTHOR: Zhangfa Wu and Hermine N Soud
DATE: November 1998
Growth in the use of coal for power generation and air pollution control for coal- fired power plants in South Asia are reviewed. Coal-fired power generation is growing rapidly in South Asia (mainly in India). In addition to the existing coal-fired generating capacity of 63 Gwe, there are 2.7 Gwe under construction and 5.1 Gwe planned in the region. The growth in coal-fired capacity is increasing concerns about environmental issues. In India, the majority of existing and planned coal-fired generating capacity is based on sub-critical pulverised coal technology utilising high- ash and low calorific value coals. This leads to a relatively low thermal efficiency, a large average coal consumption per unit of power generated, and high emissions.
The current priority in India is particulate control, achieved mainly through a wide application of ESPs on existing and new generating units. There is no emphasis on using technologies for SO2 and Nox controls now but more advanced clean coal technologies are to be considered in future. The aim in India continues to be directed more towards increasing electrical output to satisfy demand rather than to safeguard the environment. In pakistan, coal has historically played a rather minor role in power generation but will change following the construction of coal-fired plants during the next century. Sri Lanka has plans to build its first coal-fired power plant which will be equipped with particulate, SO2 and Nox emissions control systems. Bangladesh is also in the process of building its first coal-fired power plant but there is currently no emphasis on emissions control. Bhutan and Nepal do not use coal for power generation and there ar are no plans for coal use in the future.