Abstract: Coal is the main fuel used for power generation in India and its consumption is increasing so as to meet the energy requirements of the world. Specific pollutants that are released from burning of coal are sulfur dioxide (SO2), oxides of Nitrogen (NO2) and particulate matter. These emissions not only have the adverse effects on global warming but also have negative health consequences. This paper presents an overview of coal-fired power generation and its emission impacts on the environment. It also considers the other methods of power generation like hydroelectric power plants, gas based power plants and nuclear power plants and their respective GHG emissions. The paper aims in highlighting the emission reduction methods that may be adopted to constrain the global warming to tolerable levels and the technologies potentially available to help in achieving the emission reductions with a special emphasis on renewable energy sources.
Keywords: Global warming, GHG emissions, power plants, fossil fuels, renewable energy sources