4.4 ATU Availability
There are several indicators of how accessible ATUs are to ERMS participants. One indicator is
the relative number of “buy” and “sell” postings to the ERMS bulletin board. There were a total
of nine “sell” postings which showed 6,762 ATUs and three buy postings for a total of 374
ATUs. The fact that there was such a high ratio of ATUs for sale as compared to those
attempting to buy indicates ATUs were readily available to those looking for them.
A second indicator is the average price. If ATUs are difficult to obtain, their price should rise as
a function of supply and demand. If they are readily available, the price should generally
decline. Prices declined in the early years but have steadied in recent years. Figure 4-1 shows
the average ATU prices since ERMS began.
Figure 4-1: Average ATU Price ($/ATU)
18.75 19.65 13.99
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
A third indicator is that no source requested regular access to ACMA during the reconciliation
period. Sources would likely request such access if they could not find the ATUs they need on
the market. Thus, it can be concluded sources who were looking to acquire ATUs found the
ATUs they needed in the market.
A fourth indicator is the number of sources that had to go into excursion compensation because
they did not have enough ATUs to account for their emissions. Two sources went into excursion
compensation after the 2004 season. Both sources had circumstances that cannot be attributed to
unavailability of ATUs. Both sources simply did not undertake the necessary actions to obtain
required ATUs. There has been no indication that any source that was actively looking for
ATUs was unable to obtain the needed amount.
A final indicator is the number of ATUs that expire. As discussed above, after the 2004 season,
55,122 ATUs expired without being used. This represents 54.8 percent of the ATUs allotted in
2005. If ATUs were in high demand, it is unlikely so many would have expired.
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