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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 30 September, 2021

  • 15 Min Read

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) 

Union Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri RK Singh has given his assent to amendments in the existing Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism. The sales of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) rose over 79 % to 8.38 lakh units in March 2020 compared to 4.68 lakh in the same month a year ago owing to good supply.

Features of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Mechanism

  • Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) is a market-based instrument to promote renewable sources of energy and development of the market in electricity.
    • One REC is created when one megawatt hour of electricity is generated from an eligible renewable energy source.
  • REC acts as a tracking mechanism for solar, wind, and other green energies as they flow into the power grid.
  • RECs go by many names, including Green tag, Tradable Renewable Certificates (TRCs), Renewable Electricity Certificates, or Renewable Energy Credits.
  • Under Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) bulk purchasers like discoms, open access consumers and capacitive users are required to buy a certain proportion of RECs. They can buy RECs from renewable energy producers.
    • RPO was instituted in 2011, it is a mandate that requires large power procurers to buy a predetermined fraction of their electricity from renewable sources.
  • The proportion of renewable energy for utilities is fixed by the central and state electricity regulatory commissions.
  • In India, RECs are traded on two power exchanges — Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) and Power Exchange of India (PXIL).
  • The price of RECs is determined by market demand, and contained between the ‘floor price’ (minimum price) and ‘forbearance price’ (maximum price) specified by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).

  • CERC is a regulator of the power sector in India.
  • It intends to promote competition, efficiency and economy in bulk power markets, improve the quality of supply, promote investments and advise the government on the removal of institutional barriers to bridge the demand supply gap.
  • It is a statutory body functioning with quasi-judicial status under the Electricity Act 2003.

Redesigned Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Mechanism

Union Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri RK Singh has given his assent to amendments in the existing Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism. The intent behind this decision is to align the ‘mechanism’ with the emerging changes in the power scenario and also to promote new renewable technologies.

The proposed changes will provide some flexibility to the players, additional avenues, rationalization and also addressing the RECs validity period uncertainty issues. Extensive stakeholder consultations have been held towards drawing up these changes.

The Salient features of changes proposed in revamped REC mechanism are:

  • Validity of REC would be perpetual i.e., till it is sold.
  • Floor and forbearance prices are not required to be specified.
  • CERC to have monitoring and the surveillance mechanism to ensure that there is no hoarding of RECs.
  • The RE generator who are eligible for REC, will be eligible for issuance of RECs for the period of PPA as per the prevailing guidelines. The existing RE projects that are eligible for REC would continue to get RECs for 25 years.
  • A technology multiplier can be introduced for promotion of new and high priced RE technologies, which can be allocated in various baskets specific to technologies depending on maturity.
  • RECs can be issued to obligated entities (including DISCOMs and open access consumers) which purchase RE Power beyond their RPO compliance notified by the Central Government.
  • No REC to be issued to the beneficiary of subsidies/concessions or waiver of any other charges. The FOR to define concessional charges uniformly for denying the RECs.
  • Allowing traders and bilateral transactions in REC mechanism.
  • The changes proposed in revamped REC mechanism will be implemented by CERC through regulatory process. To address mismatch between availability of RE sources and the requirement of the obligated entities to meet their renewable purchase obligation (RPO), Pan-India market-based Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Mechanism was introduced in the year 2010.

Source: PIB


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