Solar Renewable Energy Certificates Trading Spikes in June

There was a surge in the trading of solar renewable energy certificates (RECs) in June 2020 compared to the previous month despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent lockdown across the country. However, the trading of non-solar RECs saw a slight decline in numbers when compared to May 2020.

A total of 89,498 solar RECs were traded on both the exchanges, out of which 66,815 solar RECs were traded on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), and 22,683 solar RECs were traded on the Power Exchange India Limited (PXIL).

In comparison, there was a 116% rise in solar REC trading in June when compared to trade volumes in May. In May, a total of 41,469 solar RECs were traded, out of which 35,793 solar RECs were traded on the IEX, and 5,676 solar RECs were traded on the PXIL.

Solar REC trading registered an 87% growth on the IEX when compared to May, and on the PXIL, the trade volume recorded a phenomenal growth of 300% compared to the preceding month.

On the IEX, the price discovered for solar RECs saw a decline of 50% and came down to ₹1,000 (~$13.26)/REC from ₹2,000 (~$26.5)/REC in May. The price discovered for solar RECs on the PXIL saw a decline of 44% and stood at ₹1,010 (~13.3)/REC as compared to ₹1,800 (~$23.8)/REC in the previous month.

Solar REC Market Trading

Last week, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) issued an order implementing revised forbearance and floor prices for solar and non-solar RECs. In its order, the Commission implemented a forbearance (maximum) price of ₹1,000 (~$13) for solar and non-solar RECs for 2020, down from 2017’s prices of ₹2,400 (~$31.6)/MWh and ₹3,000 (~$39.5) respectively. It also issued a floor price of zero for both solar and non-solar RECs from ₹1,000 (~$13)/REC previously. Until March 31, 2017, the floor price for solar RECs was ₹3,500 (~$46)/MWh. The CERC had proposed this revision in April, stating that the market for RECs has matured and that there was no longer a need for floor prices.

On the IEX, the sale bid for solar RECs was 135,169, whereas the buy bid stood at 66,815. Similarly, on PXIL, the buy bid of solar RECs was 26,012, and the sale bid was 38,692.

Speaking to Mercom, Shruti Bhatia, Head of Corporate Communications and CSR at IEX, said, “The REC market has historically been experiencing a very similar trend to what we are seeing now on the exchange. Due to the annual renewable purchase obligation (RPO) compliance culture, the larger entities like captive power plants (CPPs) and DISCOMs tend to buy RECs to fulfil their RPO compliance only towards the end of the financial year. With the recent order by the CERC correcting the REC floor and ceiling prices, the REC market buy might start to pick up and we can expect a more balanced out buy momentum throughout the year.”

The trade volume of non-solar RECs dropped marginally to 11% when compared to the month of May. A total volume of 259,558 non-solar RECs was traded in June as compared to 292,301 recorded in May.

Out of the total trade volume of 259,558 non-solar RECs, 162,873 were traded on the IEX, which marked a drop of 33%. A total of 96,685 non-solar RECs were traded on the PXIL, an increase of 95%.

On both IEX and PXIL, the price discovered for non-solar RECs remained the same at ₹1,000 (~$13.26)/REC when compared to May.

Non-Solar REC Market Trading

On the IEX, the sale bid for non-solar RECs was 713,238, whereas the buy bid was 162,873. Similarly, on PXIL, the sale bid for non-solar RECs stood at 410,653, and the buy bid was 96,685.

Earlier, CERC had passed an order extending the validity of RECs to avoid demand-supply imbalances in the REC market. It extended the validity of RECs that expired on April 1, 2020, to October 31, 2020. Additionally, it extended the validity of RECs set to expire between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, so that they remain valid until October 31, 2020.