UK energy secretary announces new policy on coal

All new coal power stations in the UK will have to comply with the new policy framework.

As a consequence, all new power plants will have to demonstrate CO2 capture and storage (CCS) on at least 400 megawatt (MW) of their output. Miliband explained in a statement that €180 million have provisionally been offered to assist Hatfield power station fit CCS, whilst bids have been received from Eon and Scottish Power for a post-combustion power station.

“In addition, early next year we will allocate the up to £90million set aside for the next bid or bids that will go forward to the detailed design and engineering stage,” said Miliband.

Miliband also spoke of a “long term transition to clean coal,” involving wide-scale commercial deployment of CCS by 2020, by which point all new coal plants will require CCS “from day one.”

“The pre-combustion demonstration projects are expected to have 100 percent CCS on their coal capacity from day one. The post-combustion projects will be expected to retrofit CCS to 100 percent of their capacity within five years of 2020 and with a view to confirm this by 2018”, he said.

However, the issue remains as to whether present regulations and incentives will suffice to meet emissions targets. In addition, and despite leading the action on CCS in Europe, the timeframe in which the new UK policies are set may be not be tight enough.

“If we conclude in 2018 that CCS will not be proven, we believe further regulatory measures will be required to restrict emissions from these plants, such as an emissions performance standard”, explained Miliband.

Read about the new policies in detail here.