Solar REC Calculator

A Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) calculator allows you to make an estimate of the amount of credits that you can receive for your installed solar power system unit. The Federal Government has currently adopted RECs as the rebate scheme to promote renewable energy – it’s commonly referred to as ‘solar credits’. REC represents a renewable energy measurement and it can be traded for cash. One megawatt hour of electricity is equivalent to one REC and you can generate credits from eligible solar hot water systems, photovoltaic systems, wind energy systems, etc.

Originally implemented to encourage an additional 9,500 GWh renewable energy generation per annum, from 2010 onwards, the Renewable Energy Target was revised from January 2011 to 20% renewable energy-sourced electricity, thus requiring a generation of 45,000 GWh.

Further, the RECs for small systems were changed to Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and that for large systems were changed to Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs). In order to help the members of the public to find out as to how many STCs can be created by an installation under the Small-scale Renewable Energy scheme, the Clean Energy Regulator of the Australian Government has made an REC calculator available in their official website.

Clean Energy Regulator does not provide any warranty or make any representation as regards the availability, completeness, currency, accuracy, quality and reliability of the data obtained from the calculator and draws your attention to the following points:

  • The calculator does not take into consideration all the variables that can impact the determination of STCs for a particular installation, and;
  • The calculator relies on data that are updated frequently and hence the results may also vary over time.

Further, the website warns that you must not use the results from the calculator to make any decision or launch a course of action. The website recommends that you contact the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 and the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations in order to determine the number of STCs accurately.

The information to be filled into the form provided on the website in order to calculate the STCs are as follows:

  • The type of generation unit – whether solar, hydro or wind.
  • The rated power output of the system in kW.
  • The period for which STCs are required to be calculated – whether 15 or 5 years or one year.

After filling in these details and on confirmation that you have read and understood the disclaimer, you can “Calculate STCs”.

The LGCs and the STCs are electronic forms of currency that eligible parties can create on REC Registry. LGCs are surrendered on an annual basis to meet liability compliance as per the RET requirements. On the other hand, you can sell STCs through the STC Clearing House for a fixed price of AUD40, excluding GST.

According to Green Energy Trading, one of the biggest environmental certificate agents in Australia, the prices of certificates valid from close of business on Friday April 20, 2012 are as follows:

  • STC: AUD25 per STC on all eligible photovoltaic, small wind, solar hot water and hydro systems.
  • LGC: AUD37 per LGC on all eligible photovoltaic, hydro, solar hot water and small wind systems.

As in the case of any other commodity, the price of the Renewable Energy Certificates is determined by their supply and demand in the marketplace.

Category: Solar Articles

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