On November 25 2015 the European Parliament signed a new directive that regulates emission limits from medium combustion plants. Over the next two decades The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) will begin to affect how the UK generates power.
The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) will regulate emissions of SO2, NOx and dust into the air with the aim of reducing those emissions and the risks to human health and the environment they may cause. It also lays down the rules to monitor emissions of carbon monoxide (CO).
Key principles of the legislation include: regulation of MCPs of between 1 and 50MW (equating to electrical output of between 330kW and 17MW), monitoring of (and potentially regulation of) CO2 levels and an Emissions Limit Value (ELV) based on the size and type of combustion plants.
According to the European Commission, the emission limit values set in the MCP Directive will have to be applied from 20 December 2018 for new plants and by 2025 or 2030 for existing plants, depending on their size.
(Existing MCPs over 5MW must comply with emissions limits by 2025 and existing MCPs under or equal to 5MW must comply with emission limits by 2030).
A complex legislation, The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) is dependent on a number of factors such as technology, fuel type and specific site, and has not yet been fully ratified.