Renewable certificate trading

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The Swedish Electricity Certificates (SEC) market is the most recent entrant into the world of green credit trade. Some limited trading activity started in March in advance of the official May 1 start to the country's renewables obligation. Participation in the market is limited. Energy intensive sectors are exempt and supply is limited with mainly small scale projects qualifying. With bids ranging between SEK 155-165/MWh, prices are just below the first year penalty level of SEK 175/MWh (EUR 19/MWh) plus tax; the penalty level in the second year will be higher: SEK 240 (EUR 26) and prices may increase in line with it.

In other markets there has been little movement in Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) prices. In the Netherlands, prices remain low at EUR 7-8/MWh, largely due to the uncertainty in the market created by the delay in introducing new legislation for renewables (the MEP). In contrast, UK prices remain high with bid prices ranging from £46-50/MWh (EUR 67-73/MWh). The British government's Energy White Paper, while falling short of endorsing a binding target beyond 10% renewables by 2010, provides positive signs about the long term prospects for renewables. This will make it easier for developers to secure long term finance deals, according to commentators. In the US, prices for certificates vary widely, with different schemes operating in different states. Prices in Texas, which have fallen slightly to $10-12/MWh (EUR 9.5-EUR 11/MWh), are currently midway between those of other states. A renewable energy certificate program is expected soon in California with the introduction of its new renewables portfolio standard.

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