Some 37,835,405 CO2 allowances were sold at the auction, held March 13, at a clearing price of $2.80. The nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states that participate in the program will now invest the money in initiatives including energy efficiency, renewable energy, direct bill assistance, greenhouse gas abatement, and climate change adaptation program.
Allowances sold represent 100 percent of the allowances offered for sale by the nine states. Bids ranged from $1.98 to $5.03 per allowance. Just 57 percent of those allowances for sale in an auction held in June 2012 were sold.
According to an independent market monitor’s report, electricity generators and their corporate affiliates have won 88 percent of CO2 allowances sold in RGGI auctions since 2008.
The next RGGI auction is scheduled for June 5.
In February, RGGI states lowered the 2014 regional CO2 budget or “RGGI cap” from 165 million to 91 million tons – a reduction of 45 percent. The cap is set to decline 2.5 percent each year from 2015 to 2020.
The changes are part of the Updated Model Rule and Program Review Recommendations Summary, which aims to guide the RGGI states as they follow state-specific statutory and regulatory processes to propose updates to their CO2 budget trading programs.
Investments made between 2009 and 2011 using proceeds from the allowance auctions of the RGGI will help avoid the emission of 12 million short tons of carbon dioxide pollution, according to a report released in November last year.
As well as the carbon reduction, the 2009 to 2011 investments will offset the need for more than 27 million MWh of electricity generation and 26.7 million BTUs of energy generation, according to the report.