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Commission publishes new power plant standards
© Petr Kratochvil

Commission publishes new power plant standards

17/08/17Energy

The European Commission has published new standards for Europe’s most polluting power plants, including many large coal-fired power stations.

Plants now have four years to meet the new standards.

The new standards include tighter rules for emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), mercury and harmful dust known as ‘particulate matter’ (PM). These toxic substances are linked to a host of health and environmental issues including the development of asthma in children and the polluting of Europe’s air and water.

Christian Schaible, European Environmental Bureau (EEB) industrial production manager and a member of the Technical Working Group that helped to draft the revised standards, welcomed the publication, saying: “These new requirements will help speed up the energy transition as the most polluting plants are closed.

“While the clock is ticking, it’s up to national authorities to decide how much pollution they want to cut; the European rules are just a safety net setting out the minimum action required.

“Governments that want to see positive results in air quality, climate change and investments in the sustainable infrastructure of the future, must go beyond these minimum requirements.” 

An EEB report published last year calculated that the rules have the potential to prevent 20,000 premature deaths every year from coal plants alone.

The new standards set binding emission limits for mercury from coal power stations for the first time.

Pan European Networks Ltd