To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of regulations for small diesel power plants.
In December 2016, Defra consulted on proposals to introduce Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions controls on generators alongside its consultation on proposals for the implementation of the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD), aimed at improving air quality. The definition of generators used in the proposal captures those with a rated input of between 1MW thermal and 50MW thermal, although site aggregation means that some plants below this amount may also be affected if the total input on the same site falls within the proposed range. Insufficient controls on diesel generator emissions risk distorting electricity markets by encouraging new diesel at the expense of cleaner gas generation. Following the consultation on tightening controls, the 2016/17 capacity market auctions resulted in significantly fewer new diesel projects. While the proposed regulations relate to air quality, actions which reduce the use of diesel generators would limit carbon emissions.
The Defra consultation closed on 18 February and a response will be issued in due course.