Canada’s Government has given notice in the Canada Gazette proposed regulations to help achieve its target for GHG emissions reduction.
The proposed Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal-Fired Generation of Electricity Regulations set a stringent performance standard for new coal-fired units and those that have reached the end of their useful life.
The objective of the proposed Regulations is to ensure a transition away from high-emitting coal-fired electricity generation to low- or non-emitting generation such as renewable energy, high-efficiency natural gas, or thermal power with carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The proposed Regulations apply a performance standard to coal-fired electricity generation units. This standard is set at the emissions intensity level with consideration of natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) technology — a high-efficiency type of natural gas generation — fixed at 375 tonnes of CO2/GWh.
The proposed Regulations bring the performance standard into effect on July 1, 2015. In addition, units are required to begin reporting two years in advance of when they reach their end of useful life date or, in the case of new units, in the first year of operation. Regulated entities would then be subject to enforcement and compliance requirements and penalties as specified under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
The proposed Regulations are subject to the usual comment and objection period.
Early reaction includes concern that the proposed Regulations do not cover new coal plants where construction is completed before July 1, 2015.
The full text of the notice and proposed Regulations can be found at http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2011/2011-08-27/html/reg1-eng.html