The Power Ministry is likely to issue new norms for bringing greener options of electricity transmission cables like aluminium to protect environment from ill-effects of lead-based equipment. Power Ministry along the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) are working on greener options.
- This translates almost to the extent that a single km of cable, which weighs about 20 tonne/km has lead content of almost 8 tonne/km.
- The underground power cables have an average life span of 25-30 years and once they are laid, they are never dismantled.
- Aluminium-based cable sheaths are greener and cheaper alternative than lead and switching to greener alternatives is an obvious choice to protect the environment and health concerns.
- The manufacturers of lead-based power cables also have the capability to manufacture non-lead-based alternatives.
Need for greener cables
- Huge amount of lead is lying buried underground and probably seeping into the soil, water-tables and the ecosystem adding to environmental damage.
- As per WHO estimates, 240 million people globally are overexposed to lead poisoning.
- The lead-based metallic sheath used in power cables for earthing and anti-corrosion purposes contributes to 35-48 per cent of the weight of cables of voltage levels ranging from 66 kV to 220 kV.
- Power cable manufacturers need to be encouraged for innovating more and proved alternatives as rugged and reliable as lead sheathed cables.