The European Commission on Thursday said it had cleared Bulgaria, Lithuania and Poland to hand out a total 62.9 million free EUAs to their utilities to cover 2014 emissions, rounding out last year’s distribution under the EU programme to help modernise eastern Europe’s power sector.
The eight eligible countries had requested a total 100.5 million EUAs for 2014, the Commission said in an update, or just 78% of the 129.5 million maximum they could have applied to hand out under Article 10c of the bloc’s ETS Directive, which is also meant to help prevent electricity price spikes in those nations.
Poland and Lithuania had their allocations approved on Wednesday, meaning their governments could have allocated as early as today, while Bulgaria got the green light on Thursday and is allowed to issue EUAs from tomorrow.
If completed in the next week, the allocations will ease the pressure on the utilities that need the units to comply with the Apr. 30 EU ETS deadline to surrender allowances to cover last year’s emissions.
Each of the eight eligible member states has different provisions under the programme.
In order to request EUAs, governments must submit a National Allocation Table (NAT) to the European Commission, showing that they have made, or have plans to make, infrastructure investments equal to at least the value of the allowances.
But the shortfall in EUAs requested compared to the maximum limits set means the balance of 29 million units will be added to the quota of unallocated allowances to be auctioned at the end of the current third trading phase, potentially putting more downward pressure on EUA prices.
However, eligible member states can request to issue for free their share of the unallocated EUAs in the years before that.
By Mike Szabo – email@example.com