Environment Canada released the text of the proposed regulations to reduce emissions from the coal-fired electricity sector. The proposed Regulations will apply a performance standard to new coal-fired electricity generation units and those coal-fired units that have reached the end of their economic life.
The government says that the gradual phase-out of traditional coal-fired electricity generation will have a significant impact on reducing emissions. The proposed regulations, in addition to other measures taken by federal and provincial governments and utilities to reduce electricity emissions from coal and other sources, are projected to result in a decline in the absolute level of GHG emissions from electricity generation.
The proposed regulations have four parts:
Part 1 sets out a performance standard for the intensity of emissions of CO2 from regulated units and provides for exceptions based on the substitution of units and for temporary exemptions in relation to emergencies and units integrated with carbon capture and storage systems;
Part 2 sets out requirements for the reporting, sending and recording of information;
Part 3 sets out quantification rules for determining the intensity of emissions of CO2 from regulated units; and
Part 4 provides dates for the coming into force of these Regulations and, in particular, provides for the delayed coming into force of the performance standard in respect of standby units until January 1, 2020.
The baseline carbon intensity metric is an average 375 tonnes CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels in a covered unit for each GWh of electricity produced by the unit during a calendar year.
Canada’s average carbon intensity for power generation in 2008, according to Environment Canada, was 200 tonnes/GWh. However, the intensities of individual provinces vary widely depending upon the generation mix, from 2 in Quebec to 880 in Alberta.
The Government first announced its intention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector on 23 June 2010. Since then, consultations have been ongoing with key stakeholders to inform the development of the proposed Regulations. These regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette Part I on August 27 for a 60-day public consultation period.
Final Regulations are expected to be published in 2012, and regulations are scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2015.
Proposed Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal-fired Generation of Electricity Regulations (pre-publication in August 27 edition of the Canada Gazette Part I)