Green game over

Fuming diesel gensets to power Commonwealth Games stadiums

By Ruhi Kandhari
Last Updated: Sunday 07 June 2015

Green game over

carbonThe opening and closing ceremonies for Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru (JLN) Stadium will flaunt two things— glitter and smoke.

To ensure reliable power for stadiums, the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee has bought diesel-run generators with a combined capacity of about 40 MW—the power consumed by the Delhi airport. The result will be significantly higher emissions during the games. The JLN stadium gensets have an installed capacity of 8.5 MW, said A K Jain, chief electrical engineer of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) who has charge of 10 games venues. The Major Dhyan Chand Stadium will use 3.5 MW capacity gensets, the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium, 3 MW, and the Indira Gandhi Stadium, 8.5 MW.

There is no explanation why the organising committee plumped for diesel when there is enough grid power to meet requirements of the games. "Adequate power has been allotted to Delhi for the games, but they never approached us for power allocation," said an official of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).

He said the Capital's Metro and airport depend on the grid and use generators as standby. Diesel gensets as a back-up option could be considered legitimate, but the Commonwealth Games stadiums have only one source of power—diesel generators, which will be used consistently without using grid power.

The Delhi government is ignoring the effect of the toxic diesel fumes on athletes and spectators, the official said.

High on nitrogen

"There is a clear disconnect between the government's investment in improving air quality with monitoring and forecasting facilities and use of diesel gensets for the games," said Anumita Roychowdhury, associate director of the Delhi non-profit Centre for Science and Environment. "It is already an enormous challenge to control vehicular pollution and now we have these additional diesel generators. The government should have a clear strategy to meet air quality standards," she added.

According to an estimate by the Bengaluru non-profit, International Energy Initiative, thermal power plants that feed the grid emit 7.2 grammes of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), a pollutant, against each unit of power generated. Under prescribed pollution norms, diesel gensets can emit 9.2 grammes NOx against each unit power generated. "High emissions of NOx are particularly associated with diesel. Fumes from gensets, even if they meet the standards, will cause enormous pollution around games venues due to the sheer quantum of diesel used," Roychowdhury said.

Diesel worth Rs  9.6 crore

The DERC official said one litre diesel generates about three units of power; nearly 2.4 million litres of diesel will be used during the games. The gensets will emit 6,432 tonnes of CO2; the diesel will cost Rs  9.6 crore.

CPWD's stated reason for using diesel gensets is that if there is power failure from one source, shifting to back-up would disrupt the games. "We did not want any glitches on account of power for the sporting events, so we decided to use only gensets for the duration of the games," said Jain.

G Beig of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune, who has developed air quality forecasting system, called SAFAR, for the games, said he was surprised to hear about use of diesel gensets since the games organising committee had said it will use smokeless LPG gensets. Power industry sources said LPG gensets are not available in Delhi and diesel is the only fuel that can be used. IITM will monitor and forecast the air quality in Delhi during the games.

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  • After reading all these

    After reading all these articles, it seems that gov. of India have made a very dangerous move to host CWG. When India is working on
    1.Charting a Course to a Clean Energy Future: As a step to constrain its dependence on fossil fuels, India announced in February 2010 a ÔÇ£coal taxÔÇØ of 50 Rupees per metric ton, with revenues going to a National Clean Energy Fund to finance clean energy research and development. In June 2010, India repealed subsidies for gasoline and lowered subsidies for diesel and kerosene, and reduced import duties on renewable energy equipment. The country also exempted some renewable energy machinery, like wind turbine parts, from a domestic production tax on new goods.
    2.Growing Forests : In May 2010, India released a draft of its National Green Mission which calls for doubling the rate of forest cover restoration and removing 43 million tons carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) each year, or 6.35 percent of IndiaÔÇÖs annual greenhouse gas emissions, by 2020.2 India has created a technical group and coordinating agency for the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UNREDD+) program, and is institutionalizing National Forest Carbon Accounting methodologies.
    3.Building an Energy Efficient Economy: In June 2010, India approved its Energy Efficiency Mission with a goal of cutting annual energy consumption by 5 percent by 2015. The proposed efficiency program and policies will avoid the need to add nearly 20,000 megawatts of capacity, attain fuel savings of 23 million tons per year, and curb carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 100 million tons a year.
    4.Increasing Scientific Research and Monitoring: In November 2009, Prime Minister Singh and President Obama launched a Green Partnership on climate change, energy, and food security. Since then, the two governments have worked closely to develop one of the partnershipÔÇÖs key initiatives, the Program to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), focused on research and deployment of clean energy technologies.
    5.Showing International Leadership on Climate Change: Just before the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December 2009, India announced its first-ever domestic emissions target of emissions 20 to 25 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2020. Also, Prime Minister Singh was one of the key leaders from a developing country who negotiated the historic Copenhagen Accord with President Obama.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 10 years ago | Reply
  • On one side India wants to

    On one side India wants to reduce carbon foot prints and on the other side it encourages burning of fossil fuels to support common wealth games. The former is political and the later is wealth. 40 MWe of power from diesel generators can generate 28 million units (kWhr) assuming a PLF of 0.8. Diesel generator emit abut 817 kg of carbondioxide /MWhr of electricity produced. Thus during the CWG Delhi alone is going to pump 23 million kg of carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere!! At the current rate of CER ( Certified Emission Rate) India is loosing about 230 thousand Euros for this emisison. During the Olympic games, Beijing cleared the entire atmosphere over Beijing for the sake of players while India is putting health at stake for common wealth. Currently India is generating about 400 billion units from its coal fired thrmal power plants, generating about 400 billion kg of carbon dioxide. One can always argue, that compared to 400, the number 23 is very small and that too it will (hopefully) disappear after the common wealth.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 10 years ago | Reply