Grid operator raises reference price for green certificates

Italian grid operator Gestore della Rete di Trasmissione Nazionale (GRTN) last month raised the reference price for green certificates in 2005 to EUR 0.10892/kWh, more than a cent higher than the EUR 0.09738/kWh seen in 2004 and a level market players expect will continue to make investment in wind power more attractive. Green certificates are issued to wind and other renewable energy generators in proportion to their green power output. The price is established by a set formula, which remained unaltered in two new laws regulating green certificates published in Italy's official gazette on November 14. Simone Togni of wind energy group Associazione Nazionale Energia del Vento (ANEV) says the continuity in the incentive system is welcome. The industry had feared the reference price might have been lowered. To provide greater certainty on future prices, a new measure introduced with the legislation requires GRTN to give reference price forecasts for eight years, the period for which producers of wind energy and most other renewable plants are issued with certificates. And to guarantee future market stability, the legislation also stipulates that GRTN must buy excess certificates if there is more market supply than demand. Currently, there are not enough certificates available to meet demand, so GRTN makes up for the shortfall by selling certificates. Electricity producers and importers of electricity are required to acquire green certificates to demonstrate they are meeting the legal obligation to source a portion of their electricity supply portfolios -- 2.7% in 2005 -- from renewable sources of energy. Companies that fail to meet the requirement can buy certificates from those who produce renewable energy in excess of the obligation.

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