EU enforces end of ‘dirty’ power plants31/07/17Energy
Europe’s most pollutant power plants, including coal-fired power stations, will be forced to clean up or close down due to new EU rules enforced today (31 July).
The revised standards demand a reduction in toxic emissions. EU-wide compliance could cost up to €15.4bn, and 82% of coal expected to be online in 2021 is currently failing to meet minimum standards.
A new standard enforces stricter rules for the emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM). This array of toxic substances is linked to a host of health and environment issues, including the development of asthma in children and the pollution of European waters and air.
Worsening urban air pollution has led to growing demands from communities for urgent action. Currently, 132 cities in 23 countries are breaching EU laws on air quality.
Ensuring large power plants use the best available techniques to reduce pollution will lead to significant reductions in emissions and have a positive effect on air quality across Europe, including that in cities.
Today’s initiative provides security for the minimum expectations for Europe’s worst polluters, whilst indicating the end of coal-based power in Europe.
EU governments now have a maximum of four years to adopt energy systems to the new limits and to ensure that workers and communities facing uncertain economic futures transition to new job opportunities and fields.