A Review Of The Indian Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Trading For April 2011

(This post originally appeared on EAI Blog –http://www.eai.in/blog/2011/04/a-review-of-the-indian-renewable-energy-certificate-rec-trading-for-april-2011.html. It was contributed by Madhavan Nampoothiri, Founder & Director of RESolve Energy Consultants on 28 April 2011.)
The trading of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) s in India started successfully on 30th March 2011. A detailed review of the first trading day is available at http://bit.ly/fg7Dtu .
REC trading is scheduled to take place on the final Wednesday of every month. The REC trading for the month of April 2011 took place on 27th April. The following are the details of the REC trading for the month at the two exchanges – Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) and Power Exchange India Limited (PXIL) for April 2011.

April 2011 Non-solar REC Solar REC
Total Buy Bids Total Sell Bids Trade Volume Purchase Price/REC No. of Participants Total Buy Bids Total Sell Bids Trade Volume Purchase Price No. of Participants
IEX 260 4046 260 Rs.1500 3 0 0 0 0
PXIL 0 565 0 0 0 0 0
Total 264 0

More details available at

  1. i. IEX trading : http://www.iexindia.com/REC_segment.htm
  2. PXIL trading : http://www.powerexindia.com/PXILReport/pages/RECMVPReport.aspx

Analysis:
To understand the dynamics of REC trading better, it is worthwhile to revisit the trading details of March 2011(given below)

March 2011 Non-solar REC Solar REC
Total Buy Bids Total Sell Bids Trade Volume Purchase Price/REC Trade Volume Purchase Price
IEX 10,000+ 150 150 Rs.3900 0
PXIL 3600+ 274 Rs.2225 0
Total 424 0

From the above transactions(March and April), it is quite clear that nothing much happened in Solar REC in April and it follows the same pattern as last month’s trading at both IEX and PXIL. Even in Non-solar REC, the initial enthusiasm seems to have gone down drastically. One reason could be that April is the start of the new financial year and there is no rush to meet the Renewable Purchase Obligation(RPO).
Trading at IEX
As against a total buy bids of more than 10,000 in IEX last month, this month saw only 260 buy bids. On the other hand, the number of sell bids has gone up from 150 to 4046. It could mean that more and more biomass, wind and other non-solar projects are getting accredited and are coming for sale. This could also be an indicator of the growing awareness of RECs. Overall, 260 Non-Solar RECs were traded at a price of Rs.1500/Certificate, which is the floor (minimum) price.
Please note that the non-Solar RECs were sold at the forbearance (maximum) price of Rs. 3900/REC during the trading last month. This can be explained by the fact that in March 2011, there were only 150 RECs for sale whereas there were more than 10,000 buyers. On the other hand, in April, there were more than 4000 RECS for sale, whereas there were only 260 buyers. Clearly, the demand-supply dynamics is in play.
Trading at PXIL
The trading at PXIL in April was quite disappointing considering the fact that PXIL had more than 60% of the share of RECs traded in March. As against total 274 transactions in PXIL in March, there were no transactions in April. In PXIL, there were 565 sell bids for non-Solar RECs, but no buy bids.
Conclusion
The possible reason for the low trading is that the Renewable Purchase Obligation(RPO) timeframe for a financial year starts on April 1st of a year and ends on March 31st of the following year. In this case, since April is the start of the financial year(2011-12) and the Renewable Purchase Obligation deadlines for the financial year 2010-11 ended in March 2011, there was no scramble for buying the RECs to meet the RPOs. As mentioned earlier, demand-supply dynamics also played a role in deciding the price of the REC traded.
These are still early days for the REC trading sector and we can expect to see more trading happening in the exchanges in the coming days.
The next trading will happen on Wednesday, May 25, 2011.