March 12, 2014 / 3:04 PM / 6 years ago

Britain faces 11.5 GW of power plant closures by end-2023

Steam rises from the cooling towers at SSE's Fiddlers Ferry electricity power station near Liverpool, northern England, January 28, 2011. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain could face around 11.5 gigawatts (GW) of power plant capacity going off line by the end of 2023 due to tighter European Union pollution rules, Reuters calculations based on government data show.

EU power plant operators have had to inform their relevant environment regulator about which stations will not install emissions-cutting technology to comply with the so-called EU Industrial Emissions Directive from 2016.

Under the opt-out, plants can run without fitting further emissions-cutting technology for 17,500 hours starting January 1, 2016 or to the end of 2023, whichever comes first.

Britain’s Defra published a list of operators which have requested the opt-out on Wednesday, but has said they can change their minds up until January 1, 2016.

Reporting by Nina Chestney

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