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Carbon Prices Fall For The First Time In A Year

Jon Sullivan
Flickr CC

  After a year of increases, the price that power-plant owners pay to emit a ton of carbon under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, fell this quarter.

Investors, who crowded into the market last year, were less bullish in the latest auction. They took only 20 percent of carbon allowances this quarter, down from 55 percent at the beginning of 2014.

Before last year’s announcement that RGGI was going to tighten the cap on carbon emissions in New England, investors were mostly out of the carbon market, with power plant operators buying 90 to 100 percent of allowances. Shortly after the announcement, investors poured into the market, pushing up prices by bidding as much as four times the going cost of carbon.

The surge has abated, and that easing off of the market allowed prices to fall slightly, from $5.02 per ton last auction, to $4.88 this round.

To date, RGGI auctions have raised nearly $73 million dollars in New Hampshire, which has been spent primarily on energy efficiency projects.

Credit NHPR / RGGI