Green trade preparation

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As Australia's renewables target and tax systems change the energy playing field, new players are already gearing up for a tradable market in green electricity. Australian venture EarthWatts and New Zealand Electricity Market operator M-co, The Marketplace Company, are planning what they say is Australia's first green electricity exchange to track and trade the rights to electricity produced by renewables.

According to EarthWatts' Srian Abeysuriya, the proposed exchange will allow renewable generators to separate the value of the green electricity from the actual electricity sold to the wholesale market, with the green value traded on the exchange. The scheme will also provide retailers with a flexible mechanism to meet green power requirements demanded by customers.

Potential green power retailers are so far reluctant to comment on the scheme until more details are available. But Jack Taylor of Queensland generator Austaenergy, which is developing wind power in the north of the state, says the idea "looks good" for their company plans.

The market for green power may also be influenced by another new venture, " Pty Ltd." The company offers a free on-line service to help shop for retail gas and electricity customers. According to the company, the service is funded by the participating retailers as "an efficient way to find customers." The service uses an approach called reverse auctioning where customers complete an on-line form about their energy needs which is then forwarded to participating energy retailers. They then provide quotes to "" within one business day. These quotes are shown to the customer who makes a choice.

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