Emission performance standard

Emission performance standard

An emission performance standard is a method of controlling the amount of pollution emitted by electricity producing facilities by setting a limit on the amount of emissions which can be produced per unit of electricity generated. While emission performance standards have been used to measure conventional pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulfur (NOx and SOx) [http://www.emissions.org/publications/member_articles/ef9ema.pdf] , this regulatory measurement has become better known recently for its regulation of greenhouse gasses, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). In the US, this is given in pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour (lbs. CO2/MWhr), and kilograms CO2/MWhr elsewhere in the world.

In the United States, this brand of greenhouse gas regulation has been initiated on the statewide level. California was the first to implement this standard in January of 2007 by adopting Senate Bill 1368, which set a limit of 1,100 lbs. CO2 per megawatt-hour on "new long-term commitments" for baseload power generation. [http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/published/News_release/63997.htm PUC Sets GHG Emissions Performance Standard To Help Mitigate Climate Change ] ] This legislation was intended to apply to new plant investments (new construction), new or renewal contracts with a term of five years or more, or major investments by the electrical utility in its existing baseload power plants. The number of 1,100 lbs. CO2/MWhr corresponds to the emissions per electrical output of a combined cylcle gas turbine plant. By comparison, coal-fired steam turbine plants produce 2,200 lbs. CO2/MWhr or more. [ [http://commitments.clintonglobalinitiative.org/projects.htm?mode=view&rid=209734 :: CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE :: CGI Member Commitments: ] ] Other western states followed suit soon after California, with Oregon, Washington, and Montana passing similar bills into law later that year. [ [http://www.pewclimate.org/node/2127 Latest News: The Pew Center on Global Climate Change ] ]

Legislation regulating emissions via emission performance standards have also been proposed in the English parliament. [ [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmbills/053/amend/pbc0530603m.159-165.html House of Commons Amendments ] ] This bill was even more stringent than that of the western American states in that it limited production to the equivalent of 882 lbs.CO2/MWhr, which would effectively preclude the construction of any traditional coal-fired power plants.

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