We control emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates from 17 large coal and oil fired power stations. These controls are implemented by environmental permits – issued under the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (PPC). These permits include the requirements of the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD).
Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD)
The LCPD requires these power stations to either opt-in to new environmental standards or opt-out and close after 20,000 hours or 2016. The power stations choosing to opt-in had to choose between emission limit values (ELVs) or a National Emission Reduction Plan.
National Emission Reduction Plan (NERP)
Power stations in the NERP were allocated annual mass allowances for SO2, NOx and particulates. Allowances can be traded between NERP plants but the overall UK allowance cannot increase.
Emission limit values (ELVs)
Power stations opting for ELVs were set emission limit values at least as tight as the minimum standards in the LCPD for SO2, NOx and particulates. They were set annual mass limits for SO2 and NOx in the form of non-transferable A-limits and transferable B-limits.
Plants set for closure
Plants opting out of LCPD are restricted to operating 20,000hrs until 31 December 2015 when they must close. They were set ELVs for particulates and annual mass limits for SO2 and NOx in the form of non-transferable A-limits and transferable B-limits.
The 17 coal and oil fired power stations we regulate chose the following options:
- Opt-in NERP: Eggborough, Drax
- Opt-in ELV: Aberthaw, Ratcliffe, Rugeley, Cottam, West Burton, Ferrybridge, Fiddler’s Ferry, and Uskmouth
- Opt-out: Didcot, Fawley, Littlebrook, Tilbury, Grain, Kingsnorth & Ironbridge