8. November 2010 10:52
Within all the debate surrounding free allocation to industrial sectors, seen as fully exposed to international competitiveness, under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), there is an often forgotten, but important problem that needs to be addressed. That of electricity intensive sectors which will see their energy bills significantly increase as an indirect result of the EU ETS and the pass through of costs from electricity generators to their customers.
The ETS Directive makes provision for electricity-intensive companies to be compensated by their governments for the increases in electricity prices that will become steeper as the emissions ceiling begins to bite from 2013 onwards. There have however been fears that Brussels was back-tracking from this commitment to provide the overall mechanism for Member States to provide this essential support to these sectors.
We at UK Steel (a division of EEF) held a series of meetings with Commission and UK government officials in Brussels to press for early publication of draft proposals. More recently it has been learnt that the relevant Commissioner (Joaquín Almunia, DG Competition) has now decided that the Commission should proceed with drawing up the required rules, and a draft should be issued for consultation around Christmas. We will then be looking to the UK government to support such measures for UK sectors.