The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has issued a notification on July 11, mandating coal-based power plants in the Delhi-NCR region to blend a minimum of 5% pellets or briquettes made from crop residue with the conventional dry fuel.
Regulating Utilisation of Crop Residue
The Ministry aims to regulate the utilisation of crop residue by thermal power plants (TPPs) in order to reduce air pollution and promote sustainable practices.
The Environment (Utilisation of Crop residue by Thermal Power Plants) Rules 2023 apply to the National Capital Region and its adjoining areas.
Mandatory Blend Requirement
According to the notification, all coal-based thermal power plants must use a minimum of 5% blend of pellets or briquettes made from crop residue along with coal.
Penalty for Non-Utilisation
If thermal power plants fail to utilize the specified blend of crop residue, the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) or any authorized officer will impose and collect environmental compensation annually at the specified rates.
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) or the State Regulatory Commissions (SERC) will determine the tariff under the Electricity Act, taking into consideration the provisions outlined in the notification.
Relaxation in Certain Circumstances
The CAQM, in consultation with the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), may grant relaxation to thermal power plants on a case-by-case basis, to address difficulties arising from circumstances beyond their control.