Budget 2020: Govt will advise utilities to close down thermal power plants violating clean air norms
As part of its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, the energy intensity of India’s growth is targeted to decline by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 compared with 2005
New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam has said the government will advise utilities to close down thermal power plants in violation of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) norms in her Budget speech on Saturday.
“Utilities running thermal power plants that are old and where the carbon emissions are higher will be advised to close down and that land will be used for alternative energy purposes,” FM Sitharaman said while detailing plans for environment and climate change in the Budget.
Speaking about government’s efforts in furthering the clean air norms, Sitharaman added that the International Solar Alliance will help in achieving Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, disaster resilience, and the Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement.
As part of its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), the energy intensity of India’s growth is targeted to decline by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 compared with 2005. Also, there is a target of generating 40 per cent of power from non-fossil sources by 2030
The Union Budget allocated Rs 4,400 crore for NCAP for the year 2020-21.
Earlier, a total of 47.95 gigawatt of thermal power capacity missed the December 31 deadline last year to install Flue Gas Desulphurization (FDG) units to minimise SO2 emissions level. All the thermal power plants were asked to install FGD units, which cut emissions of sulfur dioxides, in phases.
In all, 440 coal-fired plans that produce 166.5 GW have to comply with the regulation by December 2022. More than one-third of these had to retrofit equipment by December 2019.
On the Budget allotment front, the Finance minister has allocated Rs 22,000 crore for the power and renewable sector for the next finacial year and has urged state governments to convert all the existing electricity meters into prepaid smart meters in three years, which would give consumers the right to choose suppliers and the rate.