Comments on: EU carbon prices expected to rise quickly and accelerate energy transition https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/eu-carbon-prices-expected-to-rise-quickly-and-accelerate-energy-transition/ EU news and policy debates across languages Thu, 30 Aug 2018 01:56:18 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 By: Mike Parr https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/eu-carbon-prices-expected-to-rise-quickly-and-accelerate-energy-transition/#comment-335497 Tue, 21 Aug 2018 09:10:08 +0000 https://www.euractiv.com/?post_type=news&p=1264110#comment-335497 As Vattenfall’ss Bx representative noted in 2016 when the MSR was announced – to date the EU ETS had made exactly zero impact on de-carbing the power sector – up to that point all the heavy lifting had been done by RES.

Whilst the rise in price in EUAs is to be welcomed moving from coal to gas simply moves from one fossil fuel (@ roughly 35% conversion efficiency) to another (@ circa 50% if the performance of CCGTs is to be believed).

Furthermore, the steel and cement sectors have seen close to zero change in emissions, ditto the petro-chem. As for aviation – passenger numbers & thus emissions continue to grow.

Where I did agree with the authors was when they made this point: “it is important to remember that the EU-ETS is ultimately a political construct” – & thus open to all sorts of massaging – it is thus no more a “market-based instrument” than a chicken is a dinosaur.

Suggestion: why not use efficiency as the measure on which to base CO2 charges. For example, CHP systems typically convert around 80% of the energy burnt into useful heat or electricity. Call this a BAT (best available technology) so anything less than 80% could be taxed (yes I know – a dirty work). The first 1% less than 80% being taxed at X, the next 1% at 2X, and so forth – this would focus minds whilst being …. tech neutral – a phrase much loved by the EC.

Of course this won’t happen – after all EC careers have been built on making the EU ETS a success & by golly it will be made a success – regardless of real world realities.

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