EU Large Combustion Plant Directive and Power Plants (UK)

The European Large Combustion Plant (LCP) Directive aims to reduce emissions of acidifying pollutants, particles, and ozone precursors from large combustion plants (power plants). The Directive entered into force on 27 November 2001, replacing the old Directive on large combustion plants (Directive 88/609/EEC as amended by Directive 94/66/EC).

The consolidated Directive 2001/80/EC is found here.

Member States had until 1 January 2008 to reduce emissions of a number of pollutants from power plants. Environmental Permits in England and Wales (PPC Permits in Scotland and Northern Ireland) extended the more relaxed (non-LCP Directive) emission limits, but these are running out. As a result, a number of UK power plants are closed or are due to close, rather than be upgraded to meet the tighter LCP limits. 

A further development is the decision (published 26 March 2015) of the European Commission to refer the United Kingdom to Court due to the absence of a reduction in emissions by the Aberthaw coal-fired power station in Wales. The Aberthaw power plant does not meet the requirement of the Directive, as it currently operates under a permit which sets a NOx emission limit of 1200 mg/Nm3, as opposed to the legally applicable 500 mg/Nm3 limit set in the Directive. The Commission first raised its concerns in a letter of formal notice in June 2013, followed by a reasoned opinion in October 2014.

These matters reduce the energy supply from certain power plant.

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