Windfall profits are generated when power firms benefit from electricity prices reflecting the cost of carbon emissions while
receiving the bulk of their carbon emission allowances for free under National Allocation Plans.
The study, commissioned by WWF from carbon market analysts Point Carbon, estimates that the windfall to electricity generators in the
UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland over the current five-year-phase of the EU Emissions Trading System could be between 23 and 71 billion euros (US$36 – 111 billion).
Coal-fired power stations account for 20% of the EU’s total carbon dioxide emissions. There are plans to construct 40 major new coal
fired power stations in Europe in the next five years.