Which retailers will (and won't) meet their 2017 LGC liability?

Which retailers will (and won’t) meet their 2017 LGC liability?

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With a Wednesday deadline, things are getting tight for power companies to purchase and surrender enough LGCs to meet their liability. Has ERM got its act together?

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Come the surrender deadline for large scale renewable energy certificates this Wednesday, things are getting tight for power companies to purchase and surrender enough LGCs from the market to meet their liability.

Historically, Liable Entities (LE) have had excellent compliance rates, but when the price of LGCs soared last year, ERM and some other LEs opted to pay the shorftfall penalty price rather than surrender LGCs.

They were taken to task by the Clean Energy Regulator, and appear to have re-engaged with the market.

This year, there is still plenty sufficient LGCs available on the market to meet this year’s liability – 32.7 million are available, and 25.2 million need to be surrendered.

The problem facing many LEs is that, whereas in previous years LGCs were easy to find as there was a sizeable oversupply, this year some LEs are holding far more than what they need, meaning there are others who must scramble to find LGCs from the market.

There is only three more days for the LEs who don’t currently hold enough LGCs to meet their liability – so they need to quickly discover who is holding excess LGCs, and line up a trade – otherwise they’ll be paying a fine and could suffer reputational damage.

But it’s difficult to know who is holding excess LGCs, as there isn’t a publicly-accessible source of information on who is holding LGCs, how many they’re holding, and how much they have to surrender.

Fortunately, SunWiz has been analysing the REC Registry for 7 years now, and has built up a rich database of information on current holdings, recent years’ surrender volumes, projected 2018 surrender volumes, and trading partners for each Liable Entity.

From our RETelligence, we can identify who is holding enough LGCs, and who isn’t.

Here’s some insights we can pull from the data. Note that all of these statements are based off last year’s surrender volumes, adjusted for the increase in the RET target.

  1. As a group, the LEs hold sufficient LGCs to meet their collective liability, holding 29M as seen in the chart below
  2. However, individual LEs appear to hold up to 1M LGCs than their need (e.g. Snowy Hydro).
  3. Pacific Hydro is holding three times the volume they need for their own requirements. Water Corp is in a similar position, as is Power & Water Corp
  4. Other individual LEs are very short, holding up to 500k LGCs less than their Liability with three days left to trade.
  5. Two of the big three retailers appear to have met their individual liability. The third appears to be 17% short (540k LGCs).
  6. There are 9 LEs who need to secure 100k or more LGCs in the next three days

Let’s take a look at ERM, as an example.

  1. ERM is holding 3.2M LGCs at the time of writing.
  2. Two years ago they surrendered 1.9M LGCs.
  3. Since then the target has grown from 18.55M LGCs to 26.03M LGCs
  4. Assuming their market share of electricity sales hasn’t changed in the meanwhile, their liability this year would be 2.67M LGCs
  5. Therefore they are holding sufficient LGCs to meet their liability.

We can therefore conclude that ERM has met its RET obligation this year

But there’s plenty of people who need to get their act together.

  1. One of the big three, who appear to be 540k behind (17% of their liability)
  2. Over 16 LEs that still require over 90% of their Liability to be purchased in the next three days.


SunWiz’s RETelligence service provides transparency into the REC Registry. Click here for more information

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1 Comment
  1. Peter F 3 years ago

    Is it possible to estimate the total value of LGCs to be purchased. If so, is it valid to divide that number by the total number of renewable megawatt hours generated and calcualte the actual value of the RET subsidy per MWh

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