Climate change poses a challenge to thermal power plants

To address the country’s future energy requirements in an environmentally acceptable manner, single technology will not meet all the challenges and a portfolio of Clean Coal Technologies (CCT) will be appropriate, said A.V. Krishnan, Executive Director, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Tiruchi, on Monday.

Coal will continue to be the dominant energy source in India as the demand for electricity was expected to rise dramatically over the next decade, Mr. Krishnan said inaugurating a two-day conference on “Clean coal and carbon capture and storage technologies” organised by the TREC STEP (Tiruchirappalli Regional Engineering College Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park) in the city.

Combustion technology

The commercial supercritical combustion technology was the best option for India in the short to medium term while gasification and advanced combustion technologies would be potentially important options for the long term, he said.

Citing International Energy Association statistics, Mr. Krishnan said thermal power plants consume large portion of fossil fuels and 67 per cent of the electricity in the world was generated by burning fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil.

Day by day climatic changes pose a challenge to the thermal power plants requiring increase in energy efficiency and reduction of pollutant emissions, including carbon dioxide.

Major challenges

Increasing energy and electricity availability for human and infrastructure development; increasing energy security; local environment protection, and pollution control and control of greenhouse gas emissions particularly carbon dioxide were major challenges facing India’s power sector, he said.

Stating that the BHEL was taking all actions to meet the market requirement of high efficiency low emission technologies of the future, he said it was working on three fronts — conserve, clean coal, and carbon capture methods.

The conference had been organised under the European Union-sponsored project for “Developing a Cluster for Clean Coal Technologies and Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies for the Indian Thermal Power Sector” taken up by the TREC STEP in partnership with BHEL. Experts in CCT and CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage), power sector professionals, climate technology enthusiasts, and academics are taking part in the conference.