Time to Change for Better; A EURO Decision to Give Ageing Power Stations More Time to Comply with Tighter Air Pollution Levels Has Angered the Greenies and Appeased the Energy Security Campaigners in Equal Measure. So How Will Teesside's Power Plants Fare under Europe's New Emissions Rules? KELLEY PRICE Finds Out

Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England), August 3, 2010 | Go to article overview

Time to Change for Better; A EURO Decision to Give Ageing Power Stations More Time to Comply with Tighter Air Pollution Levels Has Angered the Greenies and Appeased the Energy Security Campaigners in Equal Measure. So How Will Teesside's Power Plants Fare under Europe's New Emissions Rules? KELLEY PRICE Finds Out


Byline: KELLEY PRICE

EURO MPs have passed a more flexible Industrial Emissions Directive than some had hoped for, giving power stations until July 2020 to hit its emissions reduction rules.

Some 52,000 industrial and farming sites will be affected by the directive, but certain older plants may not have to meet the targets at all, as long as they close by the end of 2023 or after completing 17,500 operational hours post-2016, whichever is the sooner.

Environmentalists claim putting back the deadline encourages the UK to cling on to dirty power generation for longer.

But Teesside business leaders, worried the UK is facing an unprecedented energy crunch, say the reprieve will smooth out the transition to clean technologies - and help keep the lights on in the meantime.

Teesside Power Station is undergoing a major re-powering process by owners Gdf Suez, the biggest upgrade since the gas-fired plant was built by US power giants Enron in 1992.

Manager Paul Atkinson said the directive was the "next logical step".

"The flexibility offered will certainly help UK security of supply - without this, it would be quite difficult for the UK to meet the 2016 date for cutting industrial emissions even further," he said.

"The requirement to meet new emissions targets will play a part in our decision on the potential re-powering of the station, which is currently being assessed."

The station's neighbour, Wilton Power Station, a suite of coal, gas and biomass power generators, has already been greening up its act in light of the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, which requires plants to cut emissions or face penalties.

Terry Waldron, from Sembcorp UK, which owns the station along with the Wilton site, said: "Like every other industrial manufacturer, we just don't know what we will be allocated in terms of carbon allowances under the EU ETS at this stage.

"However, our strategy since coming to the area seven years ago has been to move forward by investing in low carbon combined heat and power technology.

"Investments such as the new biomass power station and our two new gas turbines have cost us more than pounds 100m in total but have brought real benefits in terms of carbon reductions.

"The biomass plant alone, which uses wood as its fuel, has a net saving of 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year compared to making the same amount of power and heat using fossil fuel."

The company is also supporting the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), which is spearheading a group from across the process industries looking at the issue of emissions reduction and what more can be done. …

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Time to Change for Better; A EURO Decision to Give Ageing Power Stations More Time to Comply with Tighter Air Pollution Levels Has Angered the Greenies and Appeased the Energy Security Campaigners in Equal Measure. So How Will Teesside's Power Plants Fare under Europe's New Emissions Rules? KELLEY PRICE Finds Out
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