Stakeholder meeting on 300 million EUAs for CCS

Publish date: July 9, 2009

Written by: Eivind Hoff

The bulk of the 300 million EU emission allowances (EUAs) – currently worth about €4.5bn – reserved last December by the EU for CCS demonstration and innovative renewable energy projects (see ENDS Europe article, December 15, 2008) will be allocated in 2011, the European Commission told stakeholders at a consultation meeting on June 29th.

The stakeholder meeting attracted considerable interest from both CCS and renewable energy stakeholders from across Europe. The Commission was clear that the EUAs would be awarded to projects based on competitive bidding to ensure best public value for money. In a leaked “non-paper”, the Commission has suggested portfolios of technology options they would like to see tested in the selected projects.

These portfolios include details about their sizes and the Commission explained that “best value for money” would be assessed not on the basis of euros per megawatt-hour produced or tonne CO2 avoided, but on the basis of total amount of money requested from the EU for the project.

“The portfolio approach is the right one, although some details in the non-paper need to be changed to reflect the state of technology. The 300 million EUAs need to be used for projects that are too big to be funded by public R&D programmes yet too immature to be driven by commercial-scale deployment incentives like feed-in tariffs,” says Eivind Hoff of Bellona Europa.

The Commission suggested that the value equivalent to about 80% of the 300 million EUAs would be pledged to selected projects in 2011. Projects would bid for cash, and the Commission would then sell the EUAs to raise the pledged cash gradually over the period 2011-2014. Those EUAs not needed to cover the 2011 cash pledges would then be available for a second tranche of projects being selected in 2014.

“This process is too slow and unnecessarily constraining. It would be better to give the EUAs to project sponsors or Member States in trust so as to give them flexibility as to when they are to be cashed in. After all, there is consensus that their value is likely to increase in the years towards 2020. Early conversion into cash might result in too little money being raised,” Hoff says.

The presentations given at the meeting are available here:

Link to ENDS Europe article, December 15, 2008