High potential to cut air pollution from Europe's power plants

News Published 06 May 2008 Last modified 21 Jun 2016
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Emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) from large combustion plants (LCP) could have been considerably lower in 2004, a report presented today by the European Environment Agency says.

Power plants burning coal, oil and/or gas are significant contributors to European emissions of NOx and SO2 — two important acidifying pollutants. Improving the environmental performance of LCPs by applying the best available techniques could have reduced NOx emissions by up to 59 % and SO2 emissions by as much as 80 % in 2004, the report says.

Nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide emissions could have been 20 % and 61 % lower respectively if the facilities had met the emission limits set in the LCP Directive, whose purpose is to reduce emissions of acidifying pollutants, particles, and ozone precursors.

The report Air pollution from electricity-generating large combustion plants is based on data from 450 electricity-generating LCPs across EU-25 in 2004. The LCPs covered by the report account for more than 70 % of the emissions of NOx and SO2 from this sector and are included in the European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER).

Combustion facilities in EU-25 amount to 54 % and 18 % of the reported SO2 and NOx emissions respectively.




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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100