Costs and Benefits of Installing Scrubbers at Coal-Fired Power Plants in India

Authors: Maureen Cropper, Sarath Guttikunda, Puja Jawahar, Kabir Malik, Ian Partridge


This chapter analyzes health benefits and costs of installing flue-gas desulfurization units (FGD units, or scrubbers) in India where coal-fired power plants had produced 76 percent of the electricity. The case study focuses on 72 coal-fired power plants and the health impact of their emissions, including premature mortality. If all of these plants installed scrubbers 12,890 lives would be saved and 329,000 DALYs (disability-adjusted life years) averted annually. Retrofitting power plants with scrubber units increases the cost of electricity so it is important to study which plants to target for the most cost-effective margins. Because of the greatest benefit coming from the targeting of big plants, regulations should focus on them for retrofitting.


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