Over 1 crore renewable energy certificates unsold at IEX

Showing continued sluggishness in the renewable energy certificates market, more than one crore such certificates remain unsold at the power bourse IEX, even as the government aims to boost green energy generation in the country. 

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are aimed at providing an easier avenue for various entities, including power distribution companies, to meet their green-energy obligations. 

One REC is equivalent to 1 MWh of electricity generated from renewable sources. 

However, the trading of these certificates on Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) has remained sluggish. The exchange accounts for over 90 per cent of the domestic electricity trading market. 

IEX Director (Business Development) Rajesh K Mediratta said the inventory of RECs has been ever growing since the inception of the market as demand for them is fairly low. 

“As on date there is an inventory of 1.22 crore unsold RECs, therefore all stakeholders including renewable generators are losing out due to the unsold quantum of RECs in the market,” he told PTI. 

In the last fiscal (2014-15), just about 30.6 lakh RECs were traded on the exchange whereas 96 lakh such certificates were available. Out of the total certificates available, 2.5 lakh were retained by the renewable energy generators for their own use. 

Out of the total RECs traded, there were 1.6 lakh solar certificates and 82 lakh non-solar ones during the period. 

According to Mediratta, the main reason for lower demand is the lack of interest shown by obligated entities in meeting their RPO (Renewable Purchase Obligation). 

“The future of REC market is directly dependent on how effectively State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) enforce compliance of RPO by the obligated entities,” he said. 

In recent times, the exchange has been seeing interest from few voluntary buyers of RECs. 

“Under increased focus on renewable energy with target of 170 GW (1,70,000 MW) by 2022, it is more important to ensure RPO compliances. Therefore, despite its weak markets, it makes sense to strengthen by ensuring compliance of RPO through RECs,” he said. 

Interestingly, the government aims to add 1,00,000 MW solar power capacity by 2022. 

Under REC mechanism, an entity can generate electricity through renewable resources in any part of the country. The generator receives the cost equivalent of electricity produced from any source while the environment attribute is sold through the exchanges at market-determined price.

At present, there are two power exchanges in the country — IEX and Power Exchange India (PXIL).

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