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Power Stations

Volume 402: debated on Thursday 3 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the sulphur bubble she calculates arises from power stations operating during 1996 to 2000. [106466]

I presume that this question refers to a sulphur dioxide 'bubble' in a national plan under the revised Large Combustion Plant Directive (2001/80/EC) for plants that were in existence in 1987. We have a choice whether to implement the revised Directive for these plants by the emission limits approach or by adopting the national plan approach. Measures under the Directive would apply to these plants from 2008. If we adopted the national plan approach, we expect power stations in the electricity supply industry to contribute about 66 per cent. to the calculation of the bubble, which would be about 177 kilo tonnes. This is based on current information about operation of these plants between 1996 and 2000.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her estimate is of the quantity of coal to be burnt in UK power stations in 2010; and if she will make a statement. [106471]

I have been asked to reply.The most recent energy projections for the UK, published as Energy Paper 68 in November 2000, show an estimated range for coal demand in the major power stations of approximately nine to 20 million tonnes of oil equivalent in the year 2010. This corresponds to a coal tonnage of around 15 to 31 million tonnes. The estimated range is based on two different energy price assumptions, a working assumption for the means by which operators would react to the revised large combustion plant directive and a number of other assumptions.As noted in supporting material published alongside the Energy White Paper, coal burn in electricity generation over the past couple of years has been higher than levels that might have been expected based on Energy Paper 68. In the light of recent market experience and policy developments we will be moving on to review the projections.Illustrative figures in supporting material to the Energy White Paper indicate that coal can continue to make a significant contribution to the UK's future energy needs, but the White Paper acknowledges that coal may face increasing pressures from an environmental perspective.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the terms of reference are of ENTEC to consider the New Large Combustion Plants Directive; and if she will make a statement. [106472]

ENTEC is undertaking consultancy work on the revised Large Combustion Plant Directive (2001/80/EC) for plant that were in existence in 1987. This work is primarily focussing on establishing the costs and benefits of the implementation options under the revised Directive. We have a choice whether to implement the revised Directive for these plants by the emission limits approach or by adopting the national plan approach, and results from the consultancy work will inform our decision. Measures under the Directive would apply to these plants from 2008.