HL Deb 03 March 2003 vol 645 cc87-8WA
Lord Lofthouse of Pontefract

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What account is taken of the running costs of flue gas desulphurisation plants in the market for electricity generation to ensure that these plants are not at a commercial disadvantage to plants without abatement equipment. [HL1802]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

In England and Wales, the Environment Agency regulates power generation plants through the integrated pollution control regime. The agency applies the best available techniques not entailing excessive cost (BATNEEC) on a site by site basis. BATNEEC balances the cost to the operator against the benefits to the environment.

However, in England and Wales the Environment Agency is reviewing the current regulatory framework to assess whether plants fitted with FGD are commercially disadvantaged relative to non-FGD plants. Depending on the outcome of the review, further conditions may be imposed on unabated plants to ensure the emissions of sulphur dioxide per gigawatt hour more closely align with those from plants fitted with FGD operating at a high load factor.