25 March, 2002 – APT Power Trading GmbH became the first Austrian company to trade a REC (Renewable Energy Certificate), according to an announcement from parent Verbund today.
RECS (Renewable Energy Certification System) is a new Europe-wide system of certificates which is slowly being introduced in twelve European countries. In Austria, RECS is only available for small hydro productions and is supported by e-control as the competent independent supervisory body.
Participation in the RECS programme is currently on a voluntary basis and therefore the establishment of a meaningful market in green certificates is still some way off.
“That a demand exists is proved by the deal with Sudwestdeutsche Stromhandelsgesellschaft mbH (SudWestStrom), which has acquired certificates for the public works of a German city”, said Verbund
RECS certificates are intended to certify the environmental benefit of the electricity production, in this case of Austrian hydropower. The intention of the scheme is to assist with EU and Kyoto emissions targets, and promote diversity and security of supply. It is also felt that RECS will act as a driver for advancement of renewable technology.
The Verbund trading subsidiary APT said it considers this first deal involving 1000 RECS certificates the beginning of a promising European market, in which it intends to play a major role.
Critics of the RECS initiative point to the variation in green certification scheme designs within Europe and lack of liquidity as reasons for the slow progress of the scheme.