The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is considering introducing new emissions limits for generators with a thermal input of 500kW to 1MW.

The aim is to close a “regulatory gap” between the rules emanating from the Ecodesign Directive and the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD).

The former covers small appliances, such as boilers and heaters, whilst the latter applies to generators with a thermal input of 1MW to 50MW.

Defra is additionally examining the case for tightening emissions limits for those generators covered by the MCPD, which was transposed into UK law in January 2018.

The plans form part of the Clean Air Strategy 2019 published by the department earlier today (14 January).

The strategy includes a commitment to “minimise the air quality impacts of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and tackle non-compliance”. It says the government will also consult on making coal-to-biomass conversions ineligible for future contracts for difference auctions.

James Court, policy and external affairs director at the Renewable Energy Association, said: “From a renewable power perspective, proposals to remove future biomass power sites from future renewable power auctions seemingly ignore the strenuous, tightly controlled and audited emission standards already in place, which also continue to be strengthened.”

What to read next