The European Commission today authorised requests from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Romania for a continued free allocation of EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) allowances to their power sectors beyond this year. The Commission has taken these decisions under provisions which allow certain Member States exemptions from the general rule that, from 2013 onwards, the power sector must buy all its allowances at auctions or in the market.
The Commission has already approved applications from Cyprus, Estonia and Lithuania. In total, more than 268 million allowances will to be allocated for free to power plants in these six countries in the period 2013 to 2019. The number will be reduced each year, reaching zero in 2020. The Member States will put in place strict monitoring and enforcement rules to ensure that the economic value of free allowances is at least mirrored, if not exceeded, by a corresponding amount of investments in modernising their electricity generation.