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Five Steps Toward Compliance with India's New Emissions Norms

When we talk of cleaner energy in India, the focus is almost always on the government's drive for renewables. But this is to miss something important. Renewable energy is essential to sustainably powering future growth. In the present, however, when most of India's energy comes from coal, this is where our cleaner energy conversations need to focus.

About 60 percent of India’s installed power capacity is coal-based. This is set to increase to 70 percent in 2026, according to BMI Research. And now, for the first time, all of this capacity — new and existing assets — has to meet emissions standards for sulfur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and mercury. In addition, there are significantly tighter standards for pollutants such as particulate emissions. The deadline for compliance is December 2017. The cost of compliance, according to the Association of Power Producers, could be as much as Rs.2.5 trillion.