Odisha and Cheyyur UMPPs in trouble?

AK RAMDAS | 16/10/2014 03:03 PM |

Odisha, Cheyyur, UMPPs, domestic manufacturers, NTPC, tariff, power supply, power generation.
Prequalified bidders, practically all of them, withdrew and left the field open for only NTPC to secure these contracts for setting up ultra-mega power plants in Odisha and Tamil Nadu

From the press reports, it is now certain that the two 2×4,000 MW ultra-mega power plants (UMPPs), to be located in Odisha and Tamil Nadu, will now be further delayed, simply because the prequalified bidders, practically all of them, withdrew and left the field open for only NTPC to secure these contracts.

It may be recalled that apart from NTPC, others in the race, which were prequalified, for the Odisha UMPP were NHPC, Tatas, Adani, JSW Energy, Jindal Power, Sterlite, CLP and Larsen & Toubro.

For the Cheyyur project, also 4,000 MW, in addition to NTPC, others who were prequalified, included Adani, CLP, GMR, Jindal, JSW Energy, Sterlite and Larsen & Toubro (L&T).

Read full article here: http://www.moneylife.in/article/odisha-and-cheyyur-umpps-in-trouble/39156.html

Growth and Climate Action Can Go Hand in Hand

A new report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate sets out compelling evidence that growth and climate-saving action can be achieved together. The report can be downloaded at: http://newclimateeconomy.report/

It finds that there are major opportunities in three key sectors of the global economy — cities, land-use and energy. By improving energy, investing in infrastructure and stimulating innovation across these sectors, governments and businesses can deliver strong growth with lower emissions. Although this report is one of several technology-can-fix-everything reports that sidesteps the question of our economy’s inherently unsustainable consumption and aspirations, the findings have much by way of tactical value.

Here’s an extract about coal from the chapter on “Energy” (Thanks to Trusha Reddy, Earthlife Africa for the extract)

Coal is also the most carbon-intensive of fossil fuels, accounting for 73% of power sector emissions but only 41% of generated electricity.70 Reducing coal use is an essential feature of pathways to reduce CO2. For example, the IEA 450 scenario sees coal-fired power generation falling to 60% of 2011 levels by 2030, and total reductions in coal emissions of 11 Gt CO2.71 Analysis carried out for the Commission suggests that as much as half of this reduction could be achieved at zero or very low net cost, once the changing cost of alternatives, and reduced health damages and other co-benefits are taken into account.72

Given the known risks associated with coal, it is time to reverse the “burden of proof”, so coal is no longer assumed to be an economically sound choice by default. Instead, governments should require that new coal construction be preceded by a full assessment showing that other options are infeasible, and the benefits of coal outweigh the full costs.

But conditions are changing, driven by fast-rising demand and a sharp increase in coal trade. Prices are twice the levels that prevailed historically,65 with projections for continued high levels in the range of US$85–140 per tonne, even as other options, notably shale gas in the US and renewable energy sources globally, have fallen in cost. The future security advantage of coal is also less clear than before. India has imported more than 50% of new coal requirements in recent years, and may face still higher import dependence without a change of course.66
The damage from air pollution has proven substantial and hard to address once coal-based infrastructure is built out; in China, mortality from air pollution is now valued at 10% of GDP.68 In many countries, properly accounting for the cost of pollution erodes the cost advantage of coal. For example, coal-fired power has a financial advantage in much of Southeast Asia, at costs of US$60–70 per MWh. But properly accounting for air pollution can add a cost of US$40/MWh or more, enough to bridge or exceed the cost gap to alternatives.69

The next 15 years offer an opportunity to create better energy systems that also reduce future climate risk. Achieving this will require a multi-faceted approach. The starting point must be to get energy pricing right, implementing energy prices that enable cost recovery for investment and less wasteful use of energy, and removing subsidies for fossil fuel consumption, production and investment.

Cheyyur PIL dismissal not a setback, say activists

The Madras High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation filed by K. Saravanan challenging the acquisition of lands for the Cheyyur 4000 MW UMPP and captive power plant. The court ruled that the litigant was not a land-owner and that the acquisition proceedings had begun as early as in 2010. The ruling is not a setback to the campaign against the power plant. The merits of the case, including the allegation that the lands have been identified fraudulently, and that the proponent has denied the presence of ecologically sensitive areas within and around the project site are currently under review in the National Green Tribunal. More importantly, the documents filed by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board as part of its defence in the PIL provides further evidence of the fraud committed in the selection of sites for power plant and port. The dismissal of the PIL (See links to articles below) has to be seen in this context.



Medicos Roundtable Discusses Health Impacts of Coal Energy

Chennai, 26 July 2014: Public health experts and medical specialists met today to make visible the health costs of India’s pursuit of coal as the energy option of choice.
The Roundtable held in Chennai on the theme of “Climate Change and Health Impacts of Energy Choices – Coal” was organized by Coal and Health Initiative India a collaboration of Community Environmental Monitoring and Health Care Without Harm at Huma Specialists Hospitals & Research Center Pvt Ltd.

Proposals to generate more than 600,000 MW of electricity – 4 times India’s installed capacity – by burning coal are on the anvil in various states of India. Coal is seen as a cheap energy option for India. However, studies suggest in the US suggest that the health costs of coal derived electricity range between 62 billion and 523 billion dollars a year. The health costs of coal as an energy option do not feature in the energy policy decision-making in India. The Roundtable was organized to fill this gap.

The fine dust emission from a coal-fired power plant is not merely a local pollutant but can travel internationally. Dr. Sarath Guttikunda of Urban Emissions made a presentation highlighting the aspect of long distance pollution from coal fired plant.

Members from Indian Public Health Association (IPHA), Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) – Pondicherry, Institute of Women and Child Welfare – Govt of Tamil Nadu, Department of Community Health – CMC Vellore, Catholic Health Association of India, Society for Community Health Awareness Research Action (SOCHARA), St. John’s Research Institute – Bangalore, St. John’s Medical College – Bangalore, Indian Journal for Public Health, Indian Institute of Public Health – Hyderabad, Indian Academy of Pediatrics (Tamil Nadu Chapter), Chennai Corporation and Doctor’s Association for Social Equality (DASE) attended the meeting.

Similar roundtables have been successfully conducted by National Coal & Health Initiatives in both Australia and South Africa over the past year. Coal & Health Initiative India proposes to organize series of similar roundtables across India leading up to the World Federation of Public Health Association’s triennial Congress to be held in Kolkata in February 2015.

For more details contact:
Divya Narayanan – narayanan.div@gmail.com

Cheyyur Power Plant will Contaminate Water Resources, Spread Cancer Agents – Research

By Soumo Ghosh
July 15, 2014 19:36 IST

Recent studies by Community Environmental Monitoring (CEM), a program by The Other Media, found that the Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) would exponentially contaminate local water bodies, irrigation systems and adversely affect the agriculture of the region.

Cheyyur is located around 100 kilometres from Chennai and about 50 kilometres from Puducherry, in Tamil Nadu. Hence, experts believe that this could also go on to adversely affect the water supply in the urban areas.

“Thermal power plants are water abusers. Krishnapatnam, in Nellore district, which was as water rich as Cheyyur is now starving for water,” said Shripad Dharmadhikari, a researcher on water and energy at Manthan Adhyayan Kendra. “Unfortunately, with coal-fired plants, Tamil Nadu will have to make a choice between water and electricity.”

Read full story here: http://www.ibtimes.co.in/cheyyur-power-plant-will-contaminate-water-resources-spread-cancer-agents-research-604467

Cheyyur thermal plant may endanger waterbodies: study


A new study by Community Environmental Monitoring has shed light on the hydrological implications of the proposed 4000-MW Cheyyur thermal power project.

“Site selection for the power plant has completely ignored its impact on the surface water resources such as tanks and ponds and the interconnected network of streams,” said S. Janakarajan, one of the authors of the study, currently Professorial Associate at the Centre for Water and Development, SOAS, University of London, and president, South Asia Consortium for Inter-disciplinary Water Studies (SaciWATERs), Hyderabad.

The project proponents have failed to study the impacts of key components of the project such as a proposed 4-km road to the East Coast Road, a coal conveyor belt, a coal conveyor corridor, a stormwater drain and a 25-km railway line, on local drainage and flooding, the study finds.

Read full story here: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cheyyur-thermal-plant-may-endanger-waterbodies-study/article6210618.ece