Fear of lowering firms’ competitiveness and carbon leakage is the reason for large amounts of allowances in the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) still being allocated for free. At the same time, unadjusted free allocation of allowances in times of economic recession is partly responsible for the large surplus of allowances that has cumulated in the EU ETS and that is lowering prices in the market. For Phase IV, the introduction of dynamic allocation has been proposed to react to significant changes in production, to prevent the accumulation of further surplus on the one hand and to protect installations from severe underallocation on the other. A reserve of about 400 million allowances is planned for that purpose. This paper analyses the demand for certificates from this reserve under different assumptions on production development as well as different design options for Phase IV. The analysis builds on freely available allocation data from Phase III along with projections of production trends from different time periods in the past. In most of the scenarios, the 400 million allowances are sufficient to fulfil demand for allowances from dynamic allocation until at least the second half of Phase IV (often even for the whole of Phase IV). Even though certain aspects analysed are now not fully compatible with the agreed-upon Phase IV revision, the analysis indicates that the amount of allowances foreseen for dynamic allocation is sufficient for Phase IV. In particular the threshold value of 10% that was introduced in the legislation will ensure that the demand of allowances is likely well below the demand found in the different scenarios in this analysis that neglects this threshold value.
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