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European Electricity Companies Pledge Carbon Neutral Power by 2050

eurelectriclogoEurelectric, a trade association representing European power companies in 27 countries, has committed to achieving a carbon-neutral power supply by 2050. Members jointly produce 2,500 TWh electricity per year, which is equivalent to over 70 percent of total European power generation.

Carbon-neutrality means reducing emissions and offsetting any unavoidable emissions, through a transparent and verifiable measuring process, so that the net calculated carbon emissions equal zero, stated Eurelectric’s president Lars G. Josefsson.

The Brussels-based association made the announcement this week to the EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs. The CEOs of sixty power companies are committed to delivering power cost-effectively and reliably across Europe, while promoting energy-efficient electricity applications, and called on European policy makers to help them meet their goals.

The electricity companies said to achieve carbon neutrality, they will require access to a broad range of power generation options including efficient clean fossil technologies, nuclear power and renewable energy, along with a simplified licensing process for new builds.

European legislators have voted for a tougher emissions trading scheme last year and committed about $13.6 billion to help build as many as a dozen power stations to capture and store carbon dioxide.

In terms of emissions trading, European carbon emissions futures fell this week after Britain’s second emissions permit auction, selling 4 million permits at 10.98 euros a ton, reported Reuters. The U.K. held its first auction in November 2008, earning $81 million from sales of 4 million permits. Electricity producers were the main buyers since their free permits were cut by 30 percent in the current phase of Europe’s carbon plans, which runs from 2008 to 2012.

Companies may not see standardized global pricing for carbon emissions for 10 or 15 years, according to analysts at a recent industry meeting in Copenhagen.

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