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US EPA announces strict emission standards for new power plants

September 21, 2013 by California Carbon

Climate Connect News, 21 September 2013, London: In a landmark announcement, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) proposed strict emission standards for new power plants in the US. The proposed standards are part of the Climate Action Plan announced by President Barack Obama earlier this year.

Noting that power plants are responsible for one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the the US, the EPA announced two sets of emission standards – for gas-based power plants and coal-fired power plants.

For gas-based power plants, the EPA has announced two standards based on the size of the power plant.

  • 1,100 lbs of CO2e per MWh (0.498 kg of CO2e per kWh) for gross energy output for power plants with natural gas consumption of less than or equal to 850 mmBtu/hour
  • 1,000 lbs of CO2e per MWh (0.453 kg of CO2e per kWh) for gross energy output of the power plant with natural gas consumption over 850 mmBtu/hour

The EPA has also proposed two sets of standards for coal-based power plants; these standards would require only a partial carbon capture from the new power plants.

  • 1,100 lbs of CO2e per MWh (0.498 kg of CO2e per kWh) for gross energy output over a 12-month period
  • 1,000-1,050 lbs of CO2e per MWh (0.453-0.476 kg of CO2e per kWh) for gross energy output over a 7-year period

The proposed standards for new power plants are the first uniform national limits on the amount of carbon pollution that future power plants will be allowed to emit. The proposed standards are in line with investments in clean energy technologies that are already being made in the power sector.

These emission standards are open for comment for the next 60 days. Several federal and state-level legislators have said that states must have the ultimate control over the emission standards of the power plants and have asked for flexibility in the EPA standards.

Technical factsheet of proposed emission standards

Analysis of regulatory impact of the emission standards (done by EPA)

For more information about this article, mail to: contact@californiacarbon.info

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