UK coal-fired power stations which are set to close under EU emission laws have a total seven years of power left. The information was revealed by Energy Minister Charles Hendry in a written answer to Parliament at the request of fellow Tory MP Brian Brinley.
The EU Large Combustion Plant Directive sets emission limits for plants which burn fuels to generate electricity or heat and have a thermal output of 50 MW or more. Its aim is to reduce acidification, ground level ozone and air pollution. Plants which don’t comply with the rules will have to close by the end of 2015.
Mr Hendry said: “Decisions on operation and closure of coal-fired power stations under the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive are a commercial matter for generators.”
E.ON’s Ironbridge coal plant has the most power in the tank with more than 11,000 running hours left but it has not been redesigned to fall in line with the EU emission law so will close by 2015.
Other plants covered by the EU law include Cockenzie (which will be replaced by a gas plant), Didcot A, Ferrybridge (units 1-2), Kingsnorth (which could be converted to cleaner coal plants) and Tilbury (units 7-10). Together the plants have 60,000 running hours left, as at the end of October 2011, which is nearly seven years.