Government has passed laws that will preclude back-up generators from providing demand-side response (DSR) without fitting abatement measures and force diesel plant operators to clean up their kit.
The move has been welcomed by health campaigners.
The legislation places strict emissions limits on combustion plant between 1MW and 50MW, either individual units, or aggregated smaller plant.
Under the laws, existing thermal generators have to comply by 2025 or 2030 depending on their size. However, if those generators enter into new agreements to provide balancing services, including the capacity mechanism, they have to comply by the end of this year.
Back-up generators are excluded from the regulations. They can run for 50 hours without having to meet the new standards, which are designed to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide. However, the legislation states that they can only run for back-up purposes and cannot remain excluded if they are entered into new balancing services agreements.
The legislation may force some aggregators and suppliers to look much more seriously at ‘load’ DSR (turning equipment on or off) as opposed to generation.
Historically, the lion’s share of DSR has come from generation.
The new laws have received a mixed response from aggregators and decentralised generators. Some, such as ADE director Tim Rotheray, told The Energyst it “undermines the potential for demand-side response” and takes away “the easy wins” by stopping back-up generators from making money by aligning maintenance schedules with peak demand. Aggregator Kiwi Power took a similar view, as did energy supplier Eon, which suggested it may “undermine the decentralised energy agenda”.
However, UK Power Reserve, which will fit abatement technology where necessary to its thermal generators to meet the emissions limits, said the legislation would “drive the industry to make the right changes.”
Read their views in more detail in The Energyst’s current print issue. See p24 of this link.