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Research Paper | Environmental Science Studies | India | Volume 4 Issue 3, March 2015
Gauging the Impact of Power Generation from Fossil Fuels on CO2 Level in Atmosphere
I. Nawaz | M. Emran Khan  | M. Rafat
Abstract: Energy and environment have always been closely related to one another. In the past few decades, the implications of this close association have become more noticeable, as the sustainable development of regions across the world is being adversely affected. To consider the specific instance of India, the total power installed capacity in the country is presently about 2, 58, 700 MW. India has largely relied on fossil fuels namely coal, natural gas and oil which are depleting at a rapid rate. It may be noted that 69 % of power in India is presently being generated by thermal power plants with adverse effects on environment due to addition of CO2. The extent of CO2 presence in atmosphere in the context of grid electricity is determined by the fuel mix used in power generation. The negative impact of increasing CO2 levels may be avoided to some extent through the use of renewable energy sources, especially via decentralised power systems. In any case, energy demand is going to rise with increasing population and one must search for new resources. In this study, an attempt has been made to estimate the effects of power generation in India on CO2 content of the atmosphere. One usually assumes that the maximum safe level of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is 350 ppm. This level may be maintained in the year 2050 by adoption of four-fold strategy (i) the use of carbon-free or low-carbon energy sources (ii) emphasis on forestation (iii) stabilization of population growth and (iv) use of energy efficient equipment. We investigate the first strategy.
Keywords: energy demand, fossil fuels, renewable energy sources, CO2 emissions, environment, development
Edition: Volume 4 Issue 3, March 2015,
Pages: 829 - 833