New standards to cut carbon emissions from new-built power plants have been released by the US Government.
Under the proposals set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), new large natural gas-fired turbines would need to meet a limit of 1,000lbs of CO2 per megawatt hour while new small natural gas-fired turbines would need to meet a limit of 1,100lbs of CO2 per megawatt hour. The latter rule has also been set for new coal-fired units, which would have the option to meet a somewhat tighter limit if they choose to average emissions over multiple years.
The Clean Air Act standards, which aims to reduce pollution, are in support of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan set out earlier this year.
Power plants are the largest concentrated source of emissions in the US, together accounting for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator said: “By taking common sense action to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, we can slow the effects of climate change and fulfill our obligation to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our children. These standards will also spark the innovation we need to build the next generation of power plants, helping grow a more sustainable clean energy economy.”
Nearly a dozen US states have already implemented or are implementing their own programmes to reduce carbon pollution and nearly 35 states have set energy efficiency and renewable energy targets.