SUPREME COURT ORDERS STAY ON REC TRADING

After the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (CERC) order dated 30th March 2017 on reduction of prices for RECs, many REC-generating companies had filed petitions stating that they had incurred a loss as vintage multiplier was not provided. They had first gone to Appellate Tribunal of Electricity (APTEL) to suggest a way to clear the existing REC stock. While the APTEL agreed to introduce a vintage multiplier, it refused to put a stay on the trading.  When the petition was taken to the supreme court, it not only put a stay on the trading, it has also stayed the new price regime which was introduced by the CERC.

 

The Business Standard article covering the same can be accessed here.

Our blog covering the reduction in the REC prices and our analysis of the same can be accessed here.

DETERMINATION OF FEE AND CHARGES PAYABLE UNDER REGULATION 12 OF THE CENTRAL ELECTRICITY REGULATORY COMMISSION (TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR DEALING IN ENERGY SAVINGS CERTIFICATES) REGULATIONS, 2016:

In a recent order dated 24.03.2017, the apex electricity regulator CERC has finalised the fees and charges payable by the Designated consumers to the registry for the purpose of meeting the cost and expenses towards the management of registry and software platform.


The fees and charges determined through this order may be applicable upto Financial Year 2019-20  or as may be determined by the CERC in consultation with Registry and the Administrator


The Fees & charges applicable are tabled below:

 

With this, the only thing remaining to be approved are the exchange rules and charges for trading. Once that is done, all the procedural aspects to enable ESCerts trading will be completed. We expect trading to start sometime in the second half of April.


The link to the order can be found here.

CERC DECLARES NEW REC FLOOR AND FORBEARANCE PRICE

CERC came up with draft regulations in which they have reduced the prices of their Renewable Energy Certificates to a historic low. The new floor and forbearance prices from the same have been covered in our previous blog which also contains a link of the draft regulation.

REConnect Energy’s co-founder and director, Vibhav Nuwal made the following observations about the scenario in Business Standard “This change rewards non-compliant companies, which can now comply at a much lower cost. It will exert further pressure on distressed projects”.

 

CERC DECLARES NEW REC FLOOR AND FORBEARANCE PRICE

Honorable Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has determined floor and forbearance prices for REC (solar and non-solar)  which will be valid from April 1, 2017 onwards. The prices have reduced significantly and the solar prices are set to reduce from Rs 3,500 to Rs 1,000 and the non-solar REC prices are set to reduce from Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,000.

 

No Vintage Multiplier has been proposed for any technology and existing vintage multiplier for Solar generating technologies registered in REC mechanism prior to 1st January 2015 and shall expire after 31st March 2017.

 

The proposed floor and forbearance prices are given below:

 

The following is the REC price trend:

 

The impact of this price reduction on different aspects is as follows:

Impact on existing REC projects:

  • Reduction in floor price will aggravate the financial duress of RECs based projects: Already the newly established REC projects are under distress. Reduction in the floor price will only aggravate the situation as the number of unsold RECs will increase.

  • No Vintage Multiplier: The draft does not clearly state the position on multiplier to be provided on existing inventory of RECs.

Impact on obligated entities:

  • Perverse gain for defaulting Obligated Entity: Obligated entities which are non-compliant will benefit from reduction in prices since they will have an option to purchase RECs and fulfill their RPO compliance at a lower rate. This has never been addressed by the CERC or the state ERC’s,

 

  • Potential higher demand going forward: Most captive and open access based customers will find it easier to buy RECs than to buy green power. Therefore, the low prices may lead to an increase in the REC demand.

 

Impact on the market:

  • Low Demand in March 2017: Since the new prices will be applicable from 1st April, 2017, March will see minimum demand as the Obligated entities will have an option to comply with RPO compliance in the next FY.

 

  • Higher Inventory and therefore lower clearing ratios: If the appropriate multiplier is provided to the existing inventory, the inventory of unsold RECs will jump to 3.6 crore RECS as compared to 1.7 crore RECs as present. Even lower clearing ratios will be experienced at exchanges if the demand does not increase in proportion.

Other issues:

  • Calculation of floor price

  • Validity of RECs

 

The previous analysis of CERCs floor and forbearance for financial year 2012 to 2017 can be found here.

CERC Determines fees for issuance of Renewable Energy Certificates

In a recent amendment in the Regulation 11 of the REC Regulations, CERC determined the fees and charges payable by the eligible entities for participation in the scheme for, registration, eligibility of certificates, issuance of certificates, and other matters connected there with.  Following are some of the highlights of the regulation:

 

a)      Fees and charges other than those for issuance of certificates would be continued as they are at present until further orders.

 

b)      The fee for issuance of certificate for the period from 22.4.2013 till the date of issuance of next order by the Commission was determined at the rate of Rs 10/certificate.

 

c)      The fee for issuance of certificate for the period from 1.4.2015 till the date of issuance of next order by the Commission was to be regularized at the rate of Rs 4/certificate.

 

d)      The fees for issuance of certificate for the period from 1.1.2017 until further orders is determined to be Rs 2/- per certificate.

 

The regulation can be accessed here.

Rajasthan Proposes Wind Tariff for FY 2016-17

The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) recently proposed the new tariff for wind energy sources, which will be applicable for the projects commissioned during FY 16-17. The tariff will be applicable for 25 years.  The details of the tariff proposed are in the table below:

 

 

Below are the some graphs on the year-wise tariff’s of CERC and RERC for wind energy and the % changes in the tariffs over the years.

 

Note: All figures of CERC relate to wind zone-2 as defined by CERC, and all RERC tariffs relate to Wind Power Plants located in districts other than Jaisalmer, Jodhpur & Barmer districts.

It can be noticed from the graphs above that RERC has constantly increased Wind tariffs over the last three FYs except for the current FY, while CERC wind tariffs have risen a bit in terms of %.

Rajasthan has a wind power potential of 5050 MW’s and with these tariffs proposed, it will become an attractive destination for setting up Wind projects.

The Tariff proposed by RERC can be read here.

 

 

Analysis of CERC’s 4th Amendment to REC Regulations

CERC published the 4th Amendment to REC regulations in end-March. These regulations will have a significant impact on the RECs markets going forward, as a large portion of the existing capacity under the mechanism will become in-eligible for RECs.

In summary, the following projects will no longer be eligible for RECs:

  • Open access projects that avail concessional wheeling or banking benefit
  • Captive or self-consumption projects commissioned before 29 Sept 2010 or after 31 March 2016 (ie, before the RECs regulations first amendment when captive projects were made eligible and after this amendment)
  • Captive or self-consumption projects commissioned between 29 Sept 2010 or after 31 March 2016 but avail concessional wheeling or banking benefit

Our analysis suggests that several projects will become ineligible for RECs. The largest impact will on bio-fuel co-gen projects and biomass projects, as a large portion of these projects are captive or self-consumption projects commissioned prior to 29 Sept 2010. Older wind projects under group-captive mechanism (predominantly in TN and Maharashtra), and captive small hydro projects will also be impacted.

Solar projects are likely to have minimal impact as most projects are commissioned after 2010.

Source: REC Registry website; REConnect Analysis

 

This will lead to significant reduction in RECs issued. Our estimate suggests that the reduction could be as high as 40-50% of existing RECs issuance (in FY 15-16, total non-solar RECs issued were 73.6 lakh).

As a result, it is likely that demand for RECs will outstrip supply on an annualized basis during FY 16-17. However, large existing inventory of RECs will ensure that for FY 16-17 trading prices remain at floor-price and clearance remains low.

Note: The above issuance and demand are cumulative for the year (it does not include existing inventory of RECs)

Source: REC Registry website; REConnect Analysis

 

The regulation can be accessed here.

 

 

 

CERC determines Benchmark Capital Cost Norm for Solar PV and Solar Thermal power projects applicable during FY 2016-17

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission vide its final order on 23rd March, 2016 determined the Benchmark Capital Cost Norm for Solar PV and for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) projects for 2016-17. In case of determining the capital cost for Solar Photo voltaic, many parameters were considered like the Land cost and cost of PV modules etc.

The graph below depicts the change in the total capital cost from FY 2012-13 to FY 2016-17 and the % change year on year. The capital cost of Solar PV has decreased approximately by 68%  from  FY 2012-13.

 

 

In case of Solar Thermal, Commission had proposed to retain the benchmark capital cost of Solar Thermal power projects at INR 12.0 Crore / MW for FY 2016-17 (which remained the same in FY14-15 and FY 15-16). After reviewing all the comments and suggestions the Commission came up with the following order:

“Given the nascent stage of technology for Solar Thermal, the Commission has proposed to retain the benchmark cost without any decrease. At this point, it is not feasible to further increase these prices. The Commission decides to retain the benchmark capital cost for Solar Thermal power projects at INR 12.0 Crores / MW for FY 2016-17.”

The final order for FY 14-15 can be accessed here.

The final order for FY 15-16 can be accessed here.

The final order for FY 16-17 can be accessed here.

CERC (Terms and Conditions for Exchange of ESCerts) Regulations, 2016xchange of ESCerts) Regulations, 2016

Background

An important part of the Perform, Achieve, and Trade (PAT) mechanism for Energy Efficiency is the ‘trading’ aspect. PAT Cycle I was completed last year and the next logical step in the process is the trading of Energy Saving Certificates (ESCerts).  For a detailed analysis of the PAT scheme, see our Newsletter  Vol. 47 January 2015.

 

The actual ‘trading’ may soon become a reality as CERC recently came out with draft regulations that will govern such trading on power exchanges. A brief analysis is below:

 

Draft Regulation:

The draft Regulations has proposed to assign the responsibilities to BEE, CERC and POSOCO:

 

BEE:BEE shall discharge the role of Administrator of ESCerts and shall provide assistance to the Commission in the matters involving exchange of ESCerts on Power Exchanges and shall coordinate with the Power Exchanges and Registry for smooth interface for Exchange of ESCerts

 

CERC : CERC would function as the Market  Regulator.  In its role as Market Regulator, the draft Regulations proposes to  approve the procedure for interface activities between Power Exchanges and Registry, Administrator and Registry, and Registry and Designated Consumer And monitor the operations and performance of Power Exchanges with regard to exchange of ESCerts ;

 

POSOCO: During the introduction of Renewable Energy Certificates ( RECs) , POSOCO was mandated to act as the Registry.  Ministry of Power has assigned the

function of Registry of ESCerts trading to POSOCO for the exchange of ESCerts on the Power Exchanges .  In its capacity as the Registry for ESCerts, POSOCO is envisaged to discharge the following important functions:

 

  • Assistance in registration process of ESCerts including crediting of ESCerts to DCs after approval from MoP,
  • Guidance on dealing in the process of ESCerts trading/ exchange
  • Coordination and information dissemination with DCs, Power Exchanges, BEE and Regulator (i.e. CERC)

 

Issuance of ESCerts:

  • The DCs would be issued ESCerts in electronic form in a cycle period for achieving specific energy consumption less than the energy consumption norms and standards notified by the Central Government for the cycle period, under Energy Conservation Rules, and subsequent cycles, who have held such certificates in Registry accounts.

 

  • The DC’s whose specific energy consumption shall be more than the prescribed energy consumption norms and standards specified for a cycle period and subsequent cycles and who wish to comply with the prescribed energy consumption norms and standards using ESCerts in lieu of implementing energy conservation and energy efficiency improvement measures shall be entitled to purchase the ESCerts to meet compliance with the norms and standards prescribed under

 

The Certificate issued to eligible entities by the Government on the recommendations of the Bureau could be transacted on any of the Power Exchanges by the ESCerts holder.

It’s important to note that BEE has proposed that ESCerts have no floor or forbearance price. Pricing will therefore be determined purely through demand and supply of ESCerts. Initial analysis suggests that there will be significant oversupply of ESCerts, leading to low prices. However, its important to note that companies have the choice to ‘bank’ ESCerts to the next cycle – this feature may have the effect of a floor price as if the trading price is lower than the cost of achieving energy savings, the company will be better off banking the certificates rather than trading them.

 

The regulation can be accessed here.

 

HPERC Declares APPC for 2015-16

The Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (HPERC) recently came up with its order on the Average Pooled Power Purchase Cost (APPC) for the financial year 2015-16.

The definition of APPC followed by HPERC is in line with the CERC definition and can be read as:

Pooled Cost of Purchase means The weighted average pooled price at which the distribution licensee has purchased the electricity including cost of self-generation, if any, in the previous year from all the energy suppliers long-term and short-term, but excluding those based on renewable energy sources, as the case may be.”

The APPC for the financial year 15-16 has been determined as Rs. 2.31 per Unit, by the commission which shall continue for further period with such variation or modification as may be ordered by the Commission for the next financial year.

The APPC for FY 15-16 is 3.12% higher as compared to the APPC of FY 14-15.The graph given below depicts the APPC’s determined by HPERC over last four years and how the APPC rates have increased over the past three years :

The HPERC order can be accessed here.

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