EU Czech Presidency propose a get - out clause for running dirty coal plants until 2020. UK Gubment will be delighted
A proposal is said to be ready for tabling by the European Union's Czech presidency as a result of an overhaul of EU acid rain laws.
Many ageing EU coal-fired power stations, could cut back operating hours and win an extension to their working lives. Reuters claim to have seen this detailed plan which could provide life extensions for UK 's antique plants (no new one plants for 30 years) to 2020.
Agrement is not expected soon or easily as current EU emissions laws introduced in 2001 force European power stations to fit costly equipment to remove sulfur and nitrogen oxides blamed for acid rain, but older plants could opt out provided that they close after 20,000 hours of running time or by 2015.
The Czech proposal would allow plants to further delay closure until 2020 if they limit themselves to 15,000 hours running time.
Environment ministers will meet next Monday to discuss an overhaul of those emissions controls in a new Industrial Emissions Directive AKA Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) directive.. Under the original law the UK has already opted out 13 plants, a total of some 34.3 Gw - the highest EU opt -out and about 15% of total UK capacity.
Poland has opted out 32% of its capacity, Spain 10% , France 5% and Romania 22 %.
Seventeen of the EU's 27 member states have chosen to close a total of 205 plants.
This relaxation will provide much needed capacity as the UK struggles with output from nuclear plant and supplies of gas to feed plants in winter due to inadequate planning to store gas.
Running coal plants intermittently will increase running costs, maintenance and more imported coal.
Re-inforcing the shambles of energy planning the last decade has been in the UK.
The danger is of course that any such relaxation will provide a backstop to allow for yet further delays and indecision by the masterminds of UK energy policy .
UK Government lobbied MEP's for change to law
This confirms a Guradian story 21st January 2009 thatthe UK government lobbied MEP's for this sort of chane and warned in a 4 page briefing paper (UK Concerns on the Proposed Recast Industrial Emissions (IPPC) Directives Provisions Concerning Large Combustion Plants) that the Guradian has seen "that electricity prices would increase by 20% if the proposed legislation isn't changed. It is also concerned that the new rules would threaten the security of the UK's electricity supply."
This story broke the day before the environment committee of the European Parliament voted on over 500 amendments tabled to the – the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) directive.
It appears that the Oxbridge double first mandarins at BERR have finally woken up .."The paper sounds a drastic warning that it may prove impossible to build and operate replacement plant by the end of 2015, saying this would "exacerbate the risks and shortfalls" outlined."