• 40 mins Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 1 hour VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 2 hours Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 3 hours Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 4 hours OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 20 hours U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 22 hours Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 24 hours Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 1 day EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 1 day Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 1 day Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 4 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 4 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 4 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 4 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 4 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 4 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 5 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 5 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 5 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 5 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 5 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 5 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
  • 5 days Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks
  • 5 days Oil Throwback: BP Is Bringing Back The Amoco Brand
  • 5 days Libyan Oil Output Covers 25% Of 2017 Budget Needs
  • 5 days District Judge Rules Dakota Access Can Continue Operating
  • 6 days Surprise Oil Inventory Build Shocks Markets
  • 6 days France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects
  • 6 days Syria’s Kurds Aim To Control Oil-Rich Areas
  • 6 days Chinese Teapots Create $5B JV To Compete With State Firms
  • 6 days Oil M&A Deals Set To Rise
  • 6 days South Sudan Tightens Oil Industry Security
  • 7 days Over 1 Million Bpd Remain Offline In Gulf Of Mexico
  • 7 days Turkmenistan To Spend $93-Billion On Oil And Gas Sector
  • 7 days Indian Hydrocarbon Projects Get $300 Billion Boost Over 10 Years
  • 7 days Record U.S. Crude Exports Squeeze North Sea Oil
  • 7 days Iraq Aims To Reopen Kirkuk-Turkey Oil Pipeline Bypassing Kurdistan
  • 7 days Supply Crunch To Lead To Oil Price Spike By 2020s, Expert Says
  • 7 days Saudi Arabia Ups November Oil Exports To 7-Million Bpd
Gloria Gonzalez

Gloria Gonzalez

Gloria is a writer for Environmental Finance.Environmental Finance is the leading global publication covering the ever-increasing impact of environmental issues on the lending, insurance, investment…

More Info

Canada's Environment Ministry Getting Tough with Coal Industry

Canada’s environment ministry has proposed tougher regulations for coal-fired power plants, but they do not go far enough to help the country achieve its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets, according to an environmental NGO.

The rules proposed last week by Environment Canada apply a performance standard to coal-fired units that are either new or have reached the end of their economic life.

The standard, which will affect 20 power plants, will require the power stations to achieve parity with the emissions performance of high-efficiency natural gas generation. The regulation is intended to encourage investment in cleaner generation technologies such as high-efficiency natural gas plants and renewable energy, as well as carbon capture and storage (CCS), according to the department.

These proposed regulations, in addition to other measures taken by federal and provincial governments and utilities to reduce emissions, are projected to result in a decline in the absolute level of GHG emissions from electricity generation by 31 million tonnes between 2005 and 2020, a reduction of about 26%.

“Our strategy to lower our emissions is based on making improvements sector by sector to sustain our economy and protect our environment,” said Environment Minister Peter Kent. “We are taking action in the electricity sector because we recognise the potential for significant emissions reductions.”

The federal government has set a target of reducing GHG emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020 through a sector-by-sector approach aligned with the US. The government has also set a goal of generating 90% of Canada’s electricity from zero-emitting sources by 2020, with about three-quarters of the current supply emitting no GHGs.

“From a GHG point of view, it is a relatively clean system to begin with,” said Tim Weis, director of renewable energy and efficiency at the Pembina Institute.

But the new regulations will have the most immediate impact on the smaller coal-fired units (150MW or less) because they tend to be among the oldest of the 55 facilities in the country, while the larger coal plants tend to be younger and will not be affected for the next 15-20 years, he said. Under the regulations, about two-thirds of currently operating plants do not have to meet the standard until after 2020, and nine will operate past 2030 without constraint, Weis said.

“It’s a tough one in the sense that we’re definitely glad they’re doing something and coal is definitely a major problem,” he said. “At the same time, the regulations leave a pretty long grace period for the projects that are already out there.”

“If we’re going to meet our climate change targets, we need to be moving a fair bit faster than we are,” Weis added.

The proposals are on the stricter side of the range considered by the government, said Weis, but they are weaker than regulations in provinces such as British Columbia and Ontario, which has pledged to phase out its coal-fired generation by 2014.

The regulation states that the owner or the operator of a new unit or an old unit must not, on average, emit with an intensity of more than 375 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels in the unit for each GWh of electricity produced by the unit during a calendar year. But the owner or operator of a unit that reaches the end of its useful life before 2020 could ask for another unit to be substituted for the original unit. They could also apply for a temporary exemption if the new unit is designed, or the old unit can be retrofitted, to incorporate CCS technology.

Additionally, the regulations do not address how the federal government will treat new coal-fired plants built before 1 July 2015 – the date they are scheduled to go into effect – with a 500MW plant in Alberta trying to beat the start date. The regulation was silent on this issue despite a previous pledge to not allow developers to rush their projects into operation to avoid compliance.

“They didn’t do anything to try to stop that so that is one thing that’s very disappointing,” Weis said, adding that Kent could modify the regulations by applying them immediately to new plants.

The regulations will be officially published on 27 August for a 60-day public consultation period, with the final regulations to be published next year.

By. Gloria Gonzalez

Source: Environmental-Finance




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Anonymous on August 25 2011 said:
    Seems to me a carbon tax on coal and for that matter all fossil fuels, would be a better approach than micromanaging how utilities are to run their power plants. The only regulations I see any need for, are those pertaining to toxic substances such as mercury, soot, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons. As for carbon dioxide sequestration: Forget it. We would end up, over the years and decades, with billion of tons of CO2 and the ever-present threat of a massive release of CO2 owing to events such as severe earthquakes. I find it remarkable that the same people who recoil in horror regarding radioactive fission products, are now advocating that we store all that carbon dioxide (whose "half-life" is infinite) for all eternity.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News