Renewable energy certificates (REC), are used in international trade of renewable energy for stimulating development in renewable energy sector. REC are also known by other name such as green certificates, renewable certificates, green tags, and tradable renewable certificates. These certificates are traded in the international market. The basic aim behind these certificates is to promote development of renewable energy sources and thus enabling the market creation for renewable energy. As soon as the electricity provider has fed electricity into the grid, they get a renewable energy certificate that can be sold in international market as a tradable commodity. This certificate is an evidence that 1 megawatt-hour of power was generated from a renewable energy source. Production of green energy or renewable energy costs more and these energy certificates provides an additional income to the energy providers. An equivalent numbers of REC’s is produced for every unit of electricity generated. These certificates helps to replace fossil fuel based power generation in places where renewable electricity generator is located. Purchase of renewable certificates offsets conventional energy generation and the buyer receives a separate electricity bill for the utility.
Renewable energy creates electricity that is delivered through vast network of transmission wires. These transmission wires or grid is segmented into regional power pools and many times they are not properly inter connected. For the sale of renewable electricity a system or body was created which separates renewable electricity generation into two parts mainly the electricity produced by renewable energy and renewable attributes of that electricity generation. These attributes are sold as REC’s in the international market. No certificates would be granted for the electricity part of the split as it no longer considered renewable or green energy. Several environmental organizations claims that there is no ecological benefits by the certification method currently used as the demand for certificates does not exceed the overall supply of renewable electricity. International drivers for REC’s are global warming issues related to burning of fossil fuels.
Renewable energy certificates are categorized on the types of renewable energy produced like solar energy, biomass energy, wind energy, hydroelectric energy, geothermal energy and the certificate marketers worldwide. Various tax benefits and rebates are provided for renewable energy based power generation.
Developing economies such as Asia and Africa has huge requirements for electricity due to rapid industrialization and population growth. Various infrastructure development activities requires power as a basic need and these certificates can minimize the gap through the use of green energy sources. China is the leader in renewable energy investments followed by U.S. Denmark and UK is deriving its major power requirements through wing energy. Renewable energy is the biggest contributor to Germany’s electricity supply. Scotland and Ireland is also focusing on green energy electricity generation. Developed economies are favoring green energy to minimize carbon footprints and global warming issues. Asia and Africa is the biggest market to trade REC’s for their massive power requirements.
List of marketers involved in renewable energy certificates such as 3Degrees, 3 Phases Renewables, Arcadia Power, Carbon Solutions Group, Community Energy, NuPath Energy, Santee Cooper, Sky Energy, Inc., EDP Renewables, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, Renewable Choice Energy, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, REpowerNow, North American Power, GP Renewables & Trading LLC, Windcurrent and others.
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