On June 2, 2014 the US EPA released the Clean Power Plan proposal – a first of its kind plan to address climate change by reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. On average, the proposed plan will reduce carbon emissions from the power sector to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. As a result, the EPA projects an associated reduction in particle pollution, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide by more than 25%.
The plan requires each state that currently generates power from fossil fuels to achieve state-specific reductions ranging from as low as 11% to as high as 72%. The variance is a function of emission reduction measures available per state. EPA calculated the individual goals based upon improvements to heat rate of existing generators, greater use of natural gas, an increase in renewable energy and nuclear, and increased demand-side management programs – the latter having the intention of decreasing peak power demand by consumers.
States have the flexibility to achieve compliance how they best see fit, and can even partner with other states to achieve the plans overall objective. Individual state compliance plans must be submitted by 2018. Both the rule and the compliance plans will require states to achieve interim goals for emissions reductions starting as early as 2022.
In early 2016, the Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Clean Power Plan pending judicial review. The Court's decision was not based on the merits of the rule.
AECOM Process Technologies recognizes that coal will continue to be an important source of power, and is committed to delivering products and services that aid the utility industry in achieving compliance with the Clean Power Plan. We recognize that some utilities may choose to lower their carbon emissions through the installation of a carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) process. In some instances, if it does not already exist, FGD and SO3 controls will likely be required upstream of the CCS process to reduce SO2 and SO3 to ultra-low levels to minimize amine usage.