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Administration of renewable energy certificates

 

Market participants manage large-scale generation certificates and small-scale technology certificates through the Renewable Energy Certificate Registry (REC Registry). The REC Registry is a secure online application that facilitates the creation, registration, sale, trade and surrender of certificates and maintains public registers as set out under the Act.

The Clean Energy Regulator provides the REC Registry to enable the operation of the market for renewable energy certificates.

The Act allows for large-scale generation certificates and small-scale technology certificates to be electronically transferred between REC Registry account holders (typically, between eligible parties and liable entities). Transfers are reported automatically to the Clean Energy Regulator in the REC Registry under section 28 of the Act.

Registered certificates can be:

  • transferred between parties who have accounts in the REC Registry
  • mandatorily surrendered by liable entities to acquit their liability, under Subdivision A of Division 1 of Part 5 or section 95 of the Act, or
  • voluntarily surrendered under section 28A of the Act. Any registered owner of certificates can choose to make voluntary certificate surrender offers for any reason, including meeting obligations under GreenPower, a voluntary government accreditation program that supports investment in the renewable energy sector.

Certificates accepted for mandatory or voluntary surrender are marked ‘invalid due to surrender’ in the REC Registry and permanently removed from the market, under section 29 of the Act.

The Clean Energy Regulator does not have oversight of transfer or payment arrangements for certificates transferred through the REC Registry. This is negotiated directly between buyers and sellers and managed as per the business contracts they sign.

This process is market driven, with the price of certificates determined by a number of factors, including supply and demand. Certificate prices are not regulated by the Clean Energy Regulator.

The Small-scale Technology Certificate Clearing House (STC Clearing House), a facility within the REC Registry, allows liable entities to purchase small-scale technology certificates at a fixed price of $40 (GST exclusive) when the supply from the open market does not meet their demand. Small-scale technology certificates lodged in the STC Clearing House are only sold when there is a buyer. There is no guarantee on how long certificates will take to sell.

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