Platts, one of the leading global energy, petrochemical and metals information providers, recently launched weekly price assessments for renewable energy certificates.
The company covers 15 compliance products in use in eight states where renewable portfolio standards have been implemented and are required by the state government. For example, Massachusetts has more than 25 renewable energy mandates, programs and incentives in place, according to the Beacon Hill Institute. A renewable energy certificate represents the environmental attributes of a megawatt-hour of electricity from a green energy facility, including wind, solar or geothermal energy.
Over the years, RECs have become a tradable commodity used by companies looking to comply with states' renewable portfolio standards that require a specific portion of power to be sourced from renewable energy.
"A renewable portfolio standard is the most widespread policy concept for encouraging the growth of renewable energy in the United States," said Mike Wilczek, Platts senior managing editor, North American power and gas. "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."
Despite RECs not having inherent value, their worth follows the models of popular environmental products such as carbon dioxide allowances, carbon offsets, renewable identification numbers and sulfur dioxide/nitrogen oxide permits. In 2011, the U.S. REC market was at 133 million megawatts per hour, which was an increase of 20 percent from a decade earlier. The market is estimated to reach 210 million megawatt hours by 2015.
Platts' new weekly REC assessment includes products that are separated into categories for solar technology and top-tier renewable facilities.
"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."