The Industrial Plant Data Viewer (IPDV) allows the public to access and compare data on industrial emissions from large combustion plants across the EU.
EU laws require operators of large industrial installations to generate annual compliance reports and monitoring results on environmental performance, and national authorities to make such information available to the public, including operating permits. Yet there is a considerable reporting and monitoring deficit on those installations, as showed by the 2017 EEB’s ‘Burning: the evidence’ report. Most member states are failing to disclose crucial information to promote compliance and environmental benchmarking, and many are not even meeting the minimum transparency requirements.
While the Chinese reporting system offers high-quality, real time data at facility level, and the US allow to compare key information also with neighbouring countries in a few clicks, the EU has failed to provide its citizens with adequate access to data generated by the industry. This is largely due to badly designed reporting obligations for member states, the lack of an EU level centralised reporting portal, and a complacent attitude towards the way information is provided.
To help fill the gaps in the EU reporting system, the EEB decided to develop its own database through in-house research.
Please note: The EEB takes no responsibility for inaccuracies in the viewer due to errors in the source data. The EEB cannot be held accountable for any errors in the data, which is based on the information provided by the industry and national authorities. By proceeding, you agree that the EEB cannot be held liable for any damage incurred by the use of this data.
The Industrial Plant Data Viewer comes with a Methodology Note, and a Background Briefing highlighting member states’ best and worst practices. The EEB will keep developing the IPDV to cover more countries and sectors.
Why the IPDV: main goals
The EEB’s Industrial Plant Data Viewer aims to:
- Increase accessibility to publicly available quantitive information, bringing together plant-level data on emissions, fuel and water use, production, efficiency, and other environmental impacts all in one place
- Allow easy assessment of compliance of Emission Limit Values (ELVs) with Best Available Techniques (BAT), Associated Emission Levels (BAT-AELs), and trends in compliance over time, in a few clicks
- Allow comparison of plants performance, and of the level of ambition in national permitting
- Increase Increase transparency and accountability by providing a platform which brings together a variety of key permitting documents, including permits, compliance reports, monitoring results, environmental inspection reports and derogations applications, and overcoming language barriers (e.g. through the ‘compare plants’ function)
- Provide a mechanism for operators and competent authorities to provide additional data and documents, or to correct erroneous information in the public domain
What the IPDV does: scope and future developments
This first version of the data viewer displays plant-level information for power stations, CHP plants feeding into the electricity grid, and district heating plants with a thermal capacity >50 MW. The time period covered goes from 2004 to the latest year covered by the LCP database.
Information is so far limited to EU member states, including the UK. Further countries did report information on LCPs but were not included at this stage, because most benefit from derogations of the BAT standards through the Energy Community Treaty. This is the case for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo (under the UNSCR 1244/99), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine. Those countries may be included in the second version.
The EEB will keep developing the IPDV to cover more countries and include new modules allowing users to check and compare industrial pollution impacts on water, and the level of implementation of best available techniques. The EEB also considers rating utilities and operators based on how they contribute to transparency. Subject to resource availability, similar databases will be made on refineries, cement plants and the iron and steel industry.
How to contribute
Providing up-to-date, reliable information that allows fact-based and transparent reporting is a work in progress, and users, operators, technique providers, national authorities, the European Commission and the European Environment Agency all have a role to play.
Users are encouraged to contribute with data, documents, comments, and corrections where data is missing or appears incorrect in the viewer.
Operators are invited to provide environmental performance information such as CEM data results directly to the EEB.
Technique providers are invited to share up to date information on which techniques the operators have implemented, plan to implement, could implement but resist due to cost implications.
National ministries and competent authorities are invited to help fill the gaps, and work towards an improvement of the EU reporting systems on industrial activities, by proactively disclosing environmental information.
The European Commission and the EEA is urged to design proper reporting obligations for member states, control the way information is reported, and implement a user-friendly data reporting system that includes sufficient, high-quality data from the EU’s largest industrial activities.
For more information on how each actor can help improve the IPDV, check the IPDV background briefing.