EURELECTRIC paper proposes measures to strengthen the EU ETS

01 December 2016

EURELECTRIC has adopted a position paper with a set of key recommendations for strengthening the EU ETS in the context of the on-going reform.

In the paper EURELECTRIC proposes an increase of the Linear Reduction Factor (LRF) in Phase IV of the ETS to at least 2.4% and to combine this with an increase in the intake rate of the Market Stability Reserve (MSR) to 24% per year from 2019 until at least 2023, as well as future-proofing the MSR by lowering the applicable thresholds (e.g. to 300-600 million EUAs across Phase IV).

The recommendations are based on a EURELECTRIC commissioned Study on Options to Strengthen the EU ETS, conducted by consultants ICIS. The study explores the viability and effectiveness of a number of options to strengthen the EU ETS in light of the ambitious outcome of the Paris Agreement.

The EURELECTRIC paper states that an increase in the LRF for Phase IV combined with improved MSR design parameters will be necessary to deliver a meaningful price signal both in the short and longer term. It demonstrates that the proposed measures would lead to an increase in the ETS allowance price and associated compliance costs for the electricity sector before 2030. This would also mean that Member States with high carbon intensity and low GDP/capita levels would also face significantly higher investment needs than they would under the Commission’s current proposal, and would thus face a higher burden as a result of the increased ambition.

Discussions to strengthen the EU ETS must therefore also incorporate solutions to mitigate these costs including using the increased income from auctioning and proportionally increasing compensation arising from the current provisions of Article 10c and Article 10d of the proposed ETS Directive.

EURELECTRIC also believes that the impact of renewables support and increased energy efficiency targets in the ETS sectors after 2020 should be properly assessed and any possible overlapping effects on the supply/demand balance for emission allowances should be understood and addressed. An improved governance process, where impacts of the additional measures are clarified in a dialogue between Member States and the Commission, will be important to ensure the maintenance of a cost-effective and market-based approach to the decarbonisation of the European power sector.

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