Thermal power plants in India: technical opportunities for improving efficiency and reducing emissions

This report draws a pathway for existing and upcoming thermal power plants in India which will help facilitate an efficient use of fossil fuel resources and mitigate environmental impact. The analysis has identified potential efficiency improvement and emissions reduction measures - short, medium and long term - to help power plant operators, and policy and decision makers in making informed decisions. Coal-based power plants constitutes a majority in both installed capacity of thermal power plants and electricity generation contribution. They are expected to be preferred choice in the near future, influencing power sector planning choices, and hence the study has focused on coal thermal power plants. The study has carefully investigated different coal technologies, potential improvement measures, their techno-economic feasibility, both for efficiency and emissions. It suggests practices for improving the heat rate, reducing the auxiliary power consumption, and curbing harmful pollutant emissions such as SPM, SOx, NOx, Hg and greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide from coal power plants. The interplay between efficiency and emission control measures are taken into account in the analysis.

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