Nine Northeastern and mid-Atlantic US states raised $102.5 million selling carbon dioxide allowances in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s (RGGI) auction last week.
RGGI, the nonprofit that administers the regional carbon auction, says all of the available greenhouse gas emissions permits sold out at the Sept. 4 event — it sold 38.4 million allowances for $2.67. Each permit gives a company the right to emit 1 ton of CO2.
The participating states — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont — will invest the money raised at the auction in energy-efficiency, renewable-energy and GHG-abatement programs.
Cumulative proceeds from all RGGI CO2 allowance auctions currently total $1.4 billion dollars.
RGGI’s June auction sold out of all 38.7 million allowances at a clearing price of $3.21, generating $124.4 million.
According to the independent market monitor’s report, electricity generators and their corporate affiliates have won 84 percent of CO2 allowances sold in RGGI auctions since 2008.
This is the third RGGI CO2 allowance auction conducted since the RGGI states revised the program in February. At that time, RGGI states agreed to program reforms that will lower the cap by 45 percent, starting in 2014. Emissions had fallen from 2005 due to lower natural gas prices and the recession. The carbon market had been oversupplied with allowances by about 30 percent, in proportion to emissions from when it began, keeping allowance prices below $2 for most years.
The next RGGI auction is scheduled for Dec. 4.
California raised $275.5 million selling greenhouse gas emissions permits last month in its fourth auction, with the state’s largest emitters paying a lower than expected $12.22 per metric ton for the right to release carbon this year.
All 13.8 million available carbon allowances for use this year sold, the California Air Resources Board said. The carbon price in the Aug. 16 auction was about 12.7 percent lower than the previous sale in May.