Table Of Contents
- What is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)?
- How are RECs tracked?
- Get Help with Selling RECs in Singapore
- Buying and Selling RECs: The Entire Process
What is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)?
Before we find out how to sell RECs in Singapore, let’s first understand what exactly Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are and how they work in Singapore.
If we had to give you a one-liner explanation, RECs are tradable assets that quantify the energy generated by renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines. Companies often buy up these certificates as a form of carbon credit to offset their carbon emissions and meet their sustainability targets.
For a more detailed explanation, read our other article: Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) in Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide.
To set the record straight, acquiring a REC is not the same as buying electricity. Instead, it merely represents purchasing the clean energy attributes of renewable electricity. Selling RECs does not affect your electricity supply or bills in any way — to the initiated, they’re essentially equal to getting free additional money from a system that’s already running anyway!
In this article we’ll be walking you through the process of how solar PV owners can sell RECs, from start to finish.
How are RECs tracked?
One REC is produced when a renewable energy source — like the solar PV system on a rooftop — generates 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity.
Each REC is unique. They each have serial numbers and usually also contain relevant information like the time period of generation – also known as “vintage” of generation – the power generation source and the type of renewable resource. RECs that have been sold are accounted for and cannot be purchased again.
RECs are certified by registries. They ensure that the registration and tracking of RECs meet international quality standards in a transparent, secure and reliable way. This eliminates any chances of double claiming or double counting.
Some countries do have their own national-based systems. That said, the 2 main REC registries recognised in Southeast Asia are The International REC Standard Foundation (I-REC Standard) and Tradable Instruments for Global Renewables (TIGR) by APX.
Get Help with Selling RECs in Singapore
The process of getting RECs and then selling them in Singapore can be complicated. As the owner of a residential solar system; the high RECs registration costs and hidden transaction fees, not to mention the many steps you’ll have to navigate carefully through, can make selling RECs neither cost-effective nor worth the effort — but that’s where GetSolar is here to help!
We simplify the long and tedious REC sales process into 1 simple step – no hassle, commitment or out-of-pocket costs. All you’ll need to do is provide us with authorisation to sell your RECs on your behalf and you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy consistent cash payouts from your REC sales.
Reach out to us to learn more about our RECs purchase program now!
Buying and Selling RECs: The Entire Process
Now that you understand what RECs are and how they are secure, the next question would be “how do I trade RECs?”. We’ll take a look below!
Before going into the trading process, it’s important that you understand some key terms.
Registrant: Individuals or organisations that register their renewable energy assets with REC registries.
Issuer: Government agencies or independent entities that control the registration of renewable energy assets. They oversee and verify energy data reporting and issue RECs based on how much clean energy is reported. Issuers act as an intermediary between registries and registrants to ensure that renewable energy generated is legitimate and valid. In Singapore, Green Certificate Company (GCC) is the issuer for I-REC, while APX as a registry is also directly the issuer for TIGR.
We’ve also included a table below with all the prices and charges involved in the entire REC registration and trading process for easy reference and comparison. Be sure to refer back to this table while reading!
|APX (Click here)||I-REC (Click here)|
|New Account Registration||USD $0||EUR €0|
|Revenue Class Meter||S$300 – S$800/meter|
|Asset Registration Fees (by Solar Panel System Size)|
|< 250 kWp||USD $100/year||EUR €100.00|
|250 kWp (TIGR) or 300 kWp (I-REC) to 1 MWp||USD $200/year||EUR €100/year|
|1 MWp to 10 MWp (TIGR) or 3 MWp (I-REC)||USD $500/year||EUR €500/year|
|> 10 MWp (TIGR) or > 3 MWp (I-REC)||USD $1,000/year||EUR €1,000/year|
|REC Registration / Issuance Fee||USD $0.030/MWh||EUR €0.025/MWh|
EUR €0.035/MWh for self-consumption
|Transfer Fee||USD $0.010/MWh||N/A|
|Redemption Fee||USD $0.030/MWh||EUR €0.080/MWh|
Of course, for customers with small rooftop solar systems, these costs can be overbearing and may not be worth the cost or effort. We’ll break down the process in this blog post regardless, but when you sign up for GetSolar’s RECs purchase program, all of these costs and processes are handled by the team, while you simply receive cash payouts.
Now, buckle up! Overall, the REC procurement and trading process can be quite complicated. There are also differences in process between the two registries, but we’ll seek to simplify everything into six clear steps.
1) Create a Registrant Account with the Registry
The first and most easy step. If you’re a renewable energy asset owner, you’ll need to set up a registrant account with the registry of your choice to gain access to the registry. The application is usually free of charge.
2) Register your Renewable Energy Asset
The subsequent steps will guide you through registering your renewable energy asset (or solar system) with either I-RECs or APX. This registration is a one-off process that can be done either by the asset owner or by a third party on the owner’s behalf. In cases where a third party is involved, an “Owner’s Declaration Letter” will be essential. Depending on the specific platform and region, the registration typically remains valid for a period of 5 years.
In preparation for this registration, several critical details will need to be assembled:
- Address of the asset
- Geographical coordinates
- Installed capacity
- Date of commissioning
Moreover, you’ll need to submit:
- Unedited project photos (ideally embedded with the Production Facility location)
- Sample metering evidence (a picture of your meter box)
- A single-line electrical diagram using industry-standard notation
These documents are required basically for the registries to be able to verify your asset, but have also been expanded over time for more thoroughness. For example with I-REC, if the data cannot be corroborated, a site inspection might be needed as well.
Furthermore, periodic permissions will be required for the issuer to inspect your solar PV system and to authenticate energy generation data.
3) Register for RECs in Singapore based on Electricity Production
Once you’ve created your registrant account and validated your renewable energy asset, you’ve completed all the prerequisites and you’re ready to work with RECs! These certificates are often registered on a periodic voluntary basis which can range from once a month to even once a year, based on the amount of renewable energy generated in that period. You’ll also need to reapply for new RECs at the end of each electricity generation period.
For RECs to be issued, you’ll have to submit your renewable energy asset’s electricity production data and allow it to be audited by an issuer. REC issuers generally also conduct frequent audits to ensure electricity production data is accurate. On top of that, some registries may also have certain electricity production data tracking requirements that you’ll have to adhere to. For example, most registries require a revenue-grade meter — also referred to as an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meter — to be installed at a solar asset’s point of generation. The price of these meters can range from S$300 to S$800 for a residential solar system.
That said, you can also choose not to install a revenue-grade meter and use your electricity bills as proof of energy generation. However, the downside to this will be that you’ll only be able to register for RECs based on exported clean energy, and not for all the renewable energy generated by your solar panel system.
Pro Tip: Most large corporate buyers consolidate their energy usage and look to purchase RECs at the end of their operating year and before they release their sustainability reports, which means RECs are usually purchased within the first quarter of the following year. Thereafter, demand for RECs will significantly decrease, so ensure to sell your RECs in the previous year before the first quarter ends!
Note: The maximum registerable period of generation or “vintage” of generation period is 2 years.
4) Issuance of REC
The issuance of RECs is almost always done together with REC registration. Once your electricity production data has been verified, the corresponding RECs will be issued for the relevant application period and logged into the registry system. You’ve finally gotten your RECs!
Once you’ve received your RECs, you can store them with a trading account with a registry. If you decide to open a trading account with a registry, you’ll be able to hold, trade and subsequently redeem the issued RECs on your own. That said, this can be a rather costly option to go with if you’re only planning to sell a small number of RECs. For instance, the trading account opening fee for I-REC is €500 and a subsequent €2,000 is charged yearly to maintain the account.
5) Trading REC in Singapore
Now, onto the main reason for getting RECs: selling them. Once you’ve got your own trading account, you’ll be able to go ahead and move, trade and sell your RECs as you wish!
While the prices of RECs fluctuate based on demand and supply, they usually fall within a set range. As of mid-2023, selling 1 REC in Singapore for small or medium asset owners will fetch between SGD 20 to 35. If you’ve made the right calculations, getting RECs can be one of the top solar financial benefits.
However it’s important to also that the tradable RECs market is still very much in its infancy and is rapidly evolving. Changes in regulations or demand and supply can swing prices in both directions, and unfortunately transactions and prices are often not fully transparent with most trades being done over-the-counter (OTC).
6) Redemption and Retirement of REC
If you’re selling RECs through our RECs program, you don’t have to worry about this step! But otherwise, the process involved in redeeming RECs is a pretty straightforward one. Once purchased, RECs will be transferred into a redemption account. At the same time, these RECs are also then retired to remove them from circulation.
Once this is done, REC buyers have the right to claim that they’ve used a volume of renewable energy that is equivalent to the number of RECs that they’ve bought. REC redemption is usually done by companies to meet their sustainability goals.
Note: There is a redemption fee involved in this process. I-RECs charges EUR €0.080/MWh, while APX charges USD $0.030/MWh redeemed.
Still unsure about the REC registration and trading process after all this? Don’t worry. Contact us anytime and let us assist you with monetising your solar assets!
This article was first published on 6 August 2021 and last updated on 22 August 2023.