Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NOx Emission Ceiling and Local Air Quality in the UK

Washington, DC's Metrobus powered with compres...Image via WikipediaMulti-Pollutant Measures Database - Final Interim Report: Meeting the NOx National Emission Ceiling for 2010 (100 page pdf, Entec UK Limited, DEFRA, June 2008)

Putting a ceiling on nitrogen oxides is part of a broader plan by DEFRA in the United Kingdom which has the highest NOx levels in Europe. An interim report on the implementation of a ceiling for NOx emissions is the focus of today’s review. As two of the largest emitters of NOx in the UK, road transport (30%) and power stations (22%) are emphasized. This is important also in the context of local air pollution where vehicle emissions predominate. One scenario, for example, is to reduce the absolute maximum speed limit to 70 kph which is being challenged.

Key Quotes:

“The purpose of this interim report is to consider how the UK could achieve compliance with the NOx National Emission Ceiling (NEC) for 2010 in a cost-effective manner”

“The least cost scenario to achieve the 2010 NOx NEC target, in the most cost-effective manner, would target road transport, the cement industry, other industrial combustion (i.e. gas boilers, turbines, and engines) and coal power stations”

“one of the most cost-effective abatement measure is compressed natural gas (CNG) retrofitted to HDVs”

“another cost-effective abatement measures is the absolute speed limit enforcement for cars of 70mph on motorways”

“Measures considered in the scenario analysis..will also impact on local air quality and associated human exposure. For instance, measures targeting road transport and domestic combustion may reduce concentrations of air pollutants in urban areas with high population density where most exceedances of air quality objectives occur”

“measures to reduce emissions from power stations, which tend to be located away from densely populated urban areas and release their emissions from tall chimneys, will have a relatively limited impact on reducing exceedances of air quality objectives and improving local air quality”

Emissions trading for NOx has been introduced in the Netherlands for a range of industrial sectors and is currently being considered in other Member States (for example, Poland)"

“Sweden plans to increase the charge to over €5 per kg of NOx and extend it to more sectors in order to further reduce NOx emissions”
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