Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemical and metals information and benchmark price references provider, today said it has launched weekly price assessments for renewable energy certificates (RECs) covering 15 compliance products in use in eight US states where renewable portfolio standards (RPS) have been mandated by state governments. Platts is also providing assessments for two voluntary products.
A REC represents the environmental attributes of a megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity from a renewable energy facility, such as wind, solar or geothermal. They’ve become a tradable commodity used by load-serving entities to comply with states’ renewable portfolio standards that require a specified portion of power to be sourced from a renewable energy generator. Some 29 states and the District of Columbia currently have such mandates.
“A renewable portfolio standard is the most widespread policy concept for encouraging the growth of renewable energy in the United States. And we’re pleased to put our long experience in price discovery to work for this emerging market and shed light on the value of the corresponding renewable energy certificates,” said Mike Wilczek, Platts senior managing editor, North American power and gas.
While RECs have no inherent value, unlike physical energy commodities such as coal and natural gas, their value follows the models of popular environmental products such as carbon dioxide allowances, carbon offsets, renewable identification numbers and sulfur dioxide/nitrogen oxide permits, which also got their start from the industry’s need to comply with state or federal environmental regulations.
Platts’ new weekly REC assessments include 15 different products eligible in eight states: California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. The REC products are broken out into categories for “solar technology” and “top-tier” renewable facilities. Platts also assesses a pair of Green-e certified REC products commonly used in the voluntary market.
“Our aim is to provide the industry with all the REC pricing and information it needs in one place,” said Geoffrey Craig, Platts associate editor, power. “The need for price assessments, market commentary and news can only increase as the market deepens, widens and matures.”
The US REC market is seen growing in size from 133 million megawatts per hour in 2011, an increase of more than 20% from decade-ago levels, to 210 million MWh by 2015.
To accompany its new assessments announcement, Platts has just released this April 2012 Special Report explaining the fundamentals behind the REC market and a fact sheet on Platts US REC assessments.
For greater detail on the calculations for the new assessments, see Platts’ methodology and specifications guidelines for U.S. renewable energy certificates, which were developed in consultation with a cross-section of power industry and market participants.
Quoted in US dollars per MWh, the weekly Platts RECs reflect market values as of Thursday at 2:30 pm. Eastern time and are published every Thursday in real-time service Platts Electricity Alert, Platts Market Center, Platts Market Data and on Friday in the newsletter Platts Megawatt Daily. Platts has published energy news, markets fundamentals and price assessments for more than a century.
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