REC Trading Results – April 2018

 

April saw trading resume for Solar RECs after a gap of one year, after the ApTel pronounced judgment in the case of REC pricing. Also, after record sale of Non-solar RECs in the last 5 months, there was almost no inventory left of Non-solar RECs. In both Solar and Non-solar RECs, demand was robust, considering that this is the first month of the new financial year.

 

Analysis of Trading:

 

Non Solar – Clearing ratio in exchange stood at 72.6% and 77.2% in IEX and PXIL respectively for Non Solar REC’s.  A total of 187,543 RECswere traded, despite demand being at 1,099,426 (as compared to 538,371 RECs traded April 2017; an increase of 104%). RECs traded at the floor price of Rs 1,000/ REC at PXIL, but increased by a minuscule fraction to Rs 1,001/ REC at IEX. However, this increase in the traded price above the floor price has come after a gap of almost 6 years (last trading above the floor price was in August 2012).
Solar – Demand was robust at 8.75 lakh RECs (3.2X demand of April 2017). Clearing ratio stood good at 23.8% and 10.4% in IEX and PXIL respectively.

ANALYSIS OF APTEL ORDER ON REC PRICING AND MULTIPLIER

Order in the case of REC pricing and vintage multiplier has now been uploaded on the ApTel’s website. Following is a quick summary of the same:
ApTel has rejected all prayers of the RE generators. Specifically, it has held:
–       Pricing: ApTel found no issues with the change in methodology by CERC when they used bid-discovered prices as against CERC determined generic tariffs.
The order states: “
“In view of the growing competition and induction of latest technologies, more and more generators are participating in the auctions/bids with considerable reduced cost of generation. Thus, the Central Commission in specifying REC prices, has shifted to bid discovered prices in place of earlier generic tariff fixed by it when the RE sector specially solar was in infancy stage.”
 
And
“We have carefully considered the contentions of all the parties and note that under the prevailing market scenario, the prices of RECs cannot be kept artificially high to burden the end consumers. Further, if the prices of RECs are kept high without aligning them with the market reality and current cost of electricity, the obligated entities may not purchase the RECs and try to fulfil their RPOs by other means.”
–       Vintage Multiplier – The ApTel has said that providing vintage multiplier is the “discretion” of CERC, and said that the CERC has provided “cogent reasoning” in its order, and further that the ApTel found “no unjustness in specifying the floor and forbearance prices of REC and discontinuation of the Vintage Multiplier”

–       In our opinion, the justification of price reduction is also to some extent based on factually incorrect premise. For example, the order says:
 
It is also noteworthy that sufficient time has been given to RE generators to sell their RECs at the power exchange but perhaps in anticipation of selling them at better prices has resulted into unsold REC inventory.”
 
            And further,
 
“Another important fact is that among the three routes available for RE generators, the REC capacity is dominated by RE generators operating under CGP and OA route rendering APPC route as the last choice”
 
We believe that this order will have a significant adverse impact on projects and investors that have invested in REC projects. An immediate impact will be that such project will have to bear heavy losses on the existing inventory of RECs – the losses will be particularly heavy for solar projects.
It also does not bode well for future investment in the REC mechanism, as falling RE prices are an irreversible trend. Does this mean that REC projects will have to bear losses of such reduction every year?

UPDATE ON HEARING ON PRICE AND TRADING OF SOLAR RECS IN APTEL

We attended the hearing at ApTel today. The court has dismissed all the petitions – implying that the CERC order remains as is. More details will be available once the final order is uploaded on the ApTel’s website (generally by end of day or tomorrow).
Since the stay on trading for Solar RECs was till the order of ApTel, it stands automatically vacated, and trading will resume from this month (unless a fresh stay is obtained by the generators).
We will provide a very detailed analysis of the order once it becomes available.
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