Today’s package, all links

trio EC

For langauge translations or interpretations, click though on the relevant pages.

Press releases & background memos

Press conference videos

EC legisaltive proposals

Other EC communications

EC impact assesments

Media

Reactions

Background studies

EC road-maps

EU ETS income data by country

coal power station sunset

Since 2013 EU member states are required to report annually on revenues received from auctioning allowances used in the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme (EU ETS).

The table below shows each country’s total income for 2013 and 2014, as recorded in the Reporting Obligations Database. Over two years Germany received the most cash at €1,540 million while Cyprus the smallest at €2.7 million.

While the data shown is not new, it is the first time that these multi-annual totals have been published together, as usually the Commission prefers to play down this issue.

Country 2013 (€m) 2014 (€m) Total (€m)
Austria 55.8 53.6 109.3
Belgium 115.0 97.1 212.1
Bulgaria 52.6 36.4 89.0
Cyprus 1.9 0.7 2.7
Czech Republic 80.7 55.7 136.4
Germany 790.3 750.0 1,540.3
Denmark 56.0 48.1 104.1
Spain 346.1 330.1 676.2
Estonia 18.1 7.4 25.5
Finland 67.0 63.5 130.5
France 219.2 215.3 434.6
Greece 147.6 131.1 278.7
Croatia 0.0 0.0 0.0
Hungary 34.6 56.5 91.1
Ireland 41.7 36.0 77.7
Italy 385.9 408.6 794.5
Luxembourg 5.0 5.2 10.1
Lithuania 20.0 17.3 37.3
Latvia 10.8 10.2 21.0
Malta 4.5 3.9 8.4
Netherlands 134.2 131.1 265.3
Poland 244.0 78.0 322.0
Portugal 72.8 67.1 139.9
Romania 122.7 97.9 220.6
Sweden 35.7 33.6 69.3
Slovenia 17.7 16.6 34.4
Slovakia 61.7 57.6 119.3
UK 485.4 401.5 886.9
TOTAL 3,627.0 3,210.2 6,837.2

The scope and characteristics of the ETS means that majority of revenue comes from firms burning coal to make electricity. This shows in the data for example by comparing UK with France, where in the later country nuclear’s share of the power mix is much larger. The UK also shows a big drop from one year to the next triggered by the ongoing closures of many large coal-fired power plants.

Between 2013 and 2014 the total revenue fell by £416 million, even when carbon prices were higher in the later year. The main reason for this I suspect is an phase-in of Article 10c schemes, whereby certain member states direct utility companies to invest in certain related objectives as a condition for temporary free allocation. These national plans only started during 2013 will have taken some time at the start to build-up momentum.

The chart total of €6,837m is not the overall ETS revenue to date. As well as small amounts raised in phase 2 by a few countries, the European Investment Bank auctioned 300 million phase 3 allowances between 2011 and 2014 raising €2,157 million for green-tech demonstration support. Adding this amount brings the overall phase 3 total to date to €8,994 million.

I will update for 2015 and subsequent years after the respective filings are done. ❧

 

 

#eu2016sk agendas

bratislava-castle-day

Slovakia will chair Council meetings during the second half of 2016. Here at-a-glance are the dates and draft agendas for the ministerial sessions.

Environment Council

  • 17 October: Luxembourg
    • Non-ETS legislative proposals: policy debate (web-streamed)
    • UN climate meetings, Marrakech: conclusions
    • UN biodiversity meetings, Cancun: conclusions
    • Water policy: conclusions
    • A.O.B: CITIES, nature law, transport
  • 19 December: Brussels
    • ETS legislative proposal: poss. general approach
    • Waste package (4-parts): progress report
    • Updates on international meetings x4

Energy Council

  • 5 December: Brussels
    • Energy efficiency package (two proposals): policy debate
    • External relations: exchange of views
    • AOB: Updates on other matters (see list in source doc)

Source document: Provisional Council agendas during the Slovak presidency.

Informal meetings

Environment and energy ministers will also hold back-to-back informal meetings in Bratislava on 11-13 July. eu2016.sk/en

Outline agenda

  • Monday 11 July : Water
  • Tuesday 12 July (morning): Climate international
  • Tuesday 12 July (afternoon): Joint session with energy ministers
    • financing
    • governance
  • Wednesday 13 July: Energy only

Documents (environment part)

 

Draft planning template

plan

The Commission met today with member states to discuss a first draft template for prospective “national energy and climate plans” for the period after 2020. A copy of the document can be found here. Depending on the outcome of the ongoing discussions, the template could form part of an EC legislative proposal by the end of this year. Parliament, the Commission said last week, would be consulted later. ❧

Centrica uninterested in nuclear buy

Key Speakers At Ceraweek 2012

Centrica CEO Iain Conn was in Brussels yesterday to talk policy and field questions.

I asked him if he was interested to increase his company’s 20% stake in the UK’s eight remaining nuclear power plants, co-owned with EDF since 2009.

Since last year, the EDF Group has sought to raise cash from asset disposals in several locations including e.g. the UK by selling a further share of its main generation unit.

Essentially, Conn rejected the idea. He said he sees his company’s present 20% holding as being like an “annuity” in assets that were coming to their “end of life, closing in the next 10 to 20 years or so” adding “if anything we’re probably a seller … if the price is right.”

Responding to a seperate question on the Hinkley Point C nuclear new-build project, Conn said Centrica had spent “£321 million on its 20% share of project’s early development costs” before quitting in 2013, the year before the former BP executive joined the company.

In his speech Conn had said that Centrica was open to nuclear being part of the future energy mix in locations where there is government support. ❧

State aid reviews

Vestager coffee

The indifference shown by the Juncker Commission, so far at least, towards bring ETS caps into line with Paris Agreement goals and thus rendering an meaningful carbon price makes it certain that state aid guidelines affecting the energy sector will be extended after 2020. Indeed the Commission’s “energy unionwork programme already sees such a review of the environmental-energy text starting in 2017. With this in mind, here is a check-list of the main texts affecting the energy sector and alongside each the expiry date. For most this is end-2020.

Guidelines

Laws

  • Coal mines 31 December 2027 (operating aid only until end 2018; no review foreseen.)

The above is not an exhaustive list. Transport sectors e.g. are a notable absence. A more comprehensive list can be found on the DG COMP web pages here.

It is also possible that the state aid rules applicable to electricity capacity payments (part of the environment-energy guidelines) could be reviewed earlier than presently foreseen, based on the outcome of the Commission’s ongoing inquiry. ❧

 

Will EDF rescue plan be enough?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Last week’s high-level meetings in Paris finally admitted EDF needs help. The quick list of what’s in a provisional rescue plan looks like this:

  • €1 bn cost savings by 2019
  • €3 bn dividends (‘profits’) converted into shares over two years
  • €4 bn new shares over one year
  • €10 bn so-far-unspecified asset sales by 2020

If all realised, this totals around €18 bn, almost all one-off items.

On diluting the value of existing capital, the investors took a dim view yesterday (25/4) with EDF’s share price falling 11%.

EDF

In its statement late Friday the company did not say which assets it plans to sell off. The group has operations in 15 countries in addition to France, the largest being those in UK and Italy. Media reports over the last year suggest the following main disposals:

  • France: 50% of transmission grid
  • USA: 50% of four nuclear plants
  • UK: Part of 80% ownership of eight nuclear plants
  • Italy: Some or all of Edison stake
  • Poland: Coal capacity and CHP facilities

None of these prospective transactions can be realised quickly. And given the situation and track record across the power utility sector, sums realised may not be as optimistic as so far thought.

What else is EDF up against? Most critical are low wholesale electricity prices and high costs in its home market. The company acknowledges that prices, as elsewhere in continental Europe, are expected to stay low for some years to come.

Against this trend, planned company costs savings, even if further increased, are likely to make little impact, especially alongside investment needs for safety upgrades (post-Fukushima) and proposed plant life-time extensions, the costs of which EDF said was around €55bn last November.

The €18bn gains listed above also compare unfavourably both to the €23bn (£18bn) overnight cost of the Hinkley Point C proposal, albeit spread over ten years and the EDF debt pile of €37bn, which isn’t getting smaller.

Today’s FT Lex column was sceptical of the plan. So am I. This story is far from over. ❧