§ Lord Gray of Contin
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What steps they are taking to control nitrogen oxide emissions from power stations.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (Lord Skelmersdale)
: The Government have authorised plans by the Central Electricity Generating Board to begin a major 10-year action programme to install low nitrogen oxide (NOx) burners at the Board's 12 largest power stations, at an estimated capital cost of £170 million.
Low-NOx burners technology will also be a requirement for all future fossil-fuel fired power stations, and discussions are taking place with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution to determine appropriate standards. The CEGB estimates that these measures will lead to a reduction in CEGB NOx emissions of nearly 30 per cent. on 1980 levels by the end of the century, despite rising electricity demand. The programme will result in a steady flow of work for boiler manufacturers.
I am particularly glad to be able to announce this programme during the European Year of the Environment. It is a worthy contribution and, along with the measures announced last September to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions, shows again our determination to tackle the international problem of air pollution.
I expect today's announcement to be widely welcomed as a trend-setting example to other countries when delegates meet early next week in Geneva to resume negotiations for an international agreement on NOx controls, and at the EC Council of Ministers meeting later this month.