California touts results of first GHG allowance auction

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said its first cap-and-trade auction of greenhouse gas (GHG) allowances on Nov. 14 was successful.

“The auction was a success and an important milestone for California as a leader in the global clean tech market,” said board Chairman Mary D. Nichols.

“By putting a price on carbon, we can break our unhealthy dependence on fossil fuels and move at full speed toward a clean energy future. That means new jobs, cleaner water and air — and a working model for other states, and the nation, to use as we gear up to fight climate change and make our economy more competitive and resilient,” Nichols said.

The auction included a current auction of 2013 vintage allowances and an advance auction of 2015 vintage allowances.

All 23 million (23,126,110 to be exact) 2013 allowance that were available for sale were in fact sold at the auction. The total submitted bids divided by total 2013 allowances available for sale was 3.10, according to a board statement.

The auction reserve price was $10. The median price was $12.96. The mean price was $13.75. The maximum price was $91.13.

The board also said that more than 5.5 million of the roughly 39.45 million allowances available for sale were sold at auction. The median price was $10.59. The mean price was $11.07 and the maximum price was $17.25.

Total 2013 vintage allowances available for purchase in the auction are expressed in metric tons, including allowances consigned by electric distribution utilities and allowances sold by the State of California.

The list of qualified bidders includes several dozen electric power and energy companies, along with energy users and traders.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at