Britain bans new coal-fired power plants without CCS

  • Date: 28/07/10

No new coal-fired power stations can be built in the UK without including carbon capture and storage technology, the government said on Tuesday.

A consultation on an “emissions performance standard”, which would penalise power plants that operate below a certain level of efficiency, will be launched in November.

However, Charles Hendry, energy minister, said it was “already clear” that coal-fired stations without CCS technology would not be acceptable.

Several companies such as Eon and RWE have been planning new coal-firedpower plants but have proceeded slowly in the uncertain regulatory outlook.

The first plants with CCS technology are likely to be delayed, as the government said on Tuesday it had not set a date for the initial winner of a competition it had launched to prove the technology to receive public funding. A further consultation, due to finish by the end of 2011, will then take place on the running of a second competition to provide funding for a further three plants.

The postponement will disappoint CCS companies, as talks on government support for such projects have been running for four years. After an initial consultation with industry, the government formally announced the current CCS competition in early 2007.

However, Chris Huhne, energy secretary, said he did not believe there would be an “energy gap” between supply and demand as old power plants were taken out of service. “The lights are not going out on my watch,” he said.

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