Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Delhi, India to Drop Coal, Switch to Natural Gas

In a move to improve its air quality, the city of Delhi, India will convert its coal-fired power plants to natural gas.  The quickly growing 12 million population city has some of the worst air pollution in the world and the switch from coal to gas is expected to greatly reduce smog because gas would release a fraction of the nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions of coal. 

The timetable is four years, but it is likely to take longer because of the difficulties in building pipeline infrastructure and political friction from coal producing Indian states.  The conversion likely will lead to higher utility costs, but government officials believe the higher economic cost is a price worth paying to improve air quality.

While the conversion is an ambitious goal, it emphasizes that natural gas is a superior fuel for more than just its lower carbon levels.

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