Prices set for Italian green certificate system

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Italian grid network operator GRTN has set the reference price of green certificates for 2002 at EUR 0.08418/ kWh. Under Italy's new green certificates system, which came into effect in early 2002, electricity retailers have to supply 2% of their electricity from renewable sources. GRTN issues the certificates to electricity producers and importers and keeps track of all transactions. The price that GRTN set for its green certificates is based on its costs of buying output from renewable plant installed since April 1999 under the country's previous system of subsidies, a law known as CIP-6. This output accounts for over 75% of all available renewable generation in the country eligible for green certificates. Demand under the obligation is for 33,000 certificates covering 3.3 TWh. GRTN estimates that this demand will be met by some 12,000 certificates from accredited privately owned renewable plants forecast to be operational by end 2002, with CIP-6 plants accounting for the remainder -- around 21,000 certificates, which are held by GRTN. The hitch is that with a total of 4.3 TWh of CIP-6 output, GRTN has a surplus of certificates on offer. Martino Pasti from ENEL GreenPower, however, disputes GRTN's assessment of the number of certificates available from privately owned renewable plants. He believes that some of the renewable capacity that GRTN over-optimistically forecasts as coming online during 2002 is more likely to be delayed. These generator-owned green certificates will be sold for less than the reference price -- Pasti guesses at EUR 0.01/kWh below the price of the CIP-6 output.

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