California carbon allowances trading at $14.60

California carbon allowances to be delivered in 2013 continued to see high prices, closing the week at $14.60.


News last Friday that the San Onofre nuclear facility would be permanently closed led to a flurry of trading with over 700,000 California carbon allowances since then.


The nuclear plant had supplied as much as 8% of state electricity, and that lost energy generation has led other fossil fuel burning power plants to increase their production, and in effect overall carbon emissions.


Some analysts estimate the loss of the San Onofre plant will result in the release of as much as 6 million additional tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.


With the carbon cap set at 162 million tonnes of CO2 for 2013, the extra 6 million CO2 tonnes represent an unexpected 4% in an already tight market.


Last May saw all 14.5 million available California carbon allowances sell at a price of $14, over $3 above the floor price.


The three California carbon allowance auctions held so far have resulted in the revenue of almost $800 million.