Policy & Regulation

EU emission limits cloud outlook for coal plants

Stricter EU limits on airborne pollutants mean many of Europe’s coal-fired power plants face an uncertain future Stricter EU limits on airborne pollutants mean many of Europe’s coal-fired power plants face an uncertain future.
By Andreas Walstad 21 August 2017 0 27271
A coal-fired power plant in Germany. (E.On)

Stricter EU rules on airborne emissions will likely cause several coal-fired power plants to close, but the number of closures will depend on how ambitious governments are when setting national targets. 

The European Commission published new standards for airborne pollutants on Friday that set tighter regulations for emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), mercury and tiny pieces of harmful dust known as particulate matter (PM). Coal-fired power facilities emit relatively high levels of these pollutants, depending on how efficient the plants are. 

However, the...