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Price slump in carbon credits for climate protection

Tim Altegör, 22 May 14
Sales of carbon allowances to fund climate-protection projects have ended. The European Investment Bank, which is based in Luxembourg and was responsible for the trading, has completed its sale of the 300 million credits – generating far less funds than anticipated.

The money raised will help to fund innovative technologies for the renewables sector and projects for carbon capture and storage. The auctions were part of the NER300 funding instrument that the European Commission set up three years ago. NER stands for New Entrants’ Reserve. Initially, the Commission hoped the sales would bring in EUR 20 per credit (one credit allows the holder to emit one tonne of CO2) and thus generate EUR 6 billion. The first round of sales, which released 200 million credits, closed at the end of 2012 having achieved an average of EUR 7.50 per tonne of CO2. This brought in a little over EUR 1.5 billion.

The European Investment Bank says the second round has generated EUR 548 million, which puts the average price per credit at EUR 5.48. The Commission will announce later this year which projects will receive the money. Projects funded in the first round include RWE Innogy’s wind farm off Germany’s North Sea coast (EUR 70 million), Bard’s Veja Mate offshore project (EUR 113 million) and Verbio’s straw biogas project (EUR 22 million).

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