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SP Group launches tradable international green energy certs for companies

COMPANIES can now buy and sell international renewable energy certificates (I-RECs) on Singapore utility firm SP Group’s digital marketplace, to achieve their green targets.

SP Group on Thursday said it received accreditation from the International REC Standard Foundation, making it the first authorised local issuer of I-RECs in the Asia-Pacific. The accreditation assures consumers of the integrity of each REC transaction.

The certificates are proofs of electricity generated by renewable sources. They are similar to the concept of carbon emissions trading, but measured in megawatt hours instead of tonnes of avoided carbon.

Companies can buy the certificates to offset their carbon emissions and access green energy supply, if they are unable to invest in their own solar panels or other renewable sources.

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As an I-REC local issuer, SP ensures that a vigorous and transparent attribute tracking system is in place and that best practices are adhered to. This avoids double counting, double certificate issuance and double attribute claiming.

Meanwhile, SP has also enhanced its digital REC trading platform to automate the entire process of trading the certificates among buyers and sellers around the world, regardless of size, business or location.

The blockchain-powered marketplace was introduced in late 2018 to link up buyers and sellers, although they still had to deal with multiple manual processes to issue and verify the certificates, before the platform was enhanced.

Separately, SP on Thursday also released the findings of its 2019 Smart Grid Index (SGI), which is a global industry framework measuring grid smartness across 75 utility firms from 35 countries.

Utility firms in the Asia-Pacific have made “significant” improvements in terms of their integration of distributed energy resources (DER), security, and customer empowerment and satisfaction, the SGI found. The region’s score was bumped up by 10 percentage points from 2018.

DER refer to energy technologies such as solar panels, energy storage rooms, and electric cars and their charging points that can be connected to and respond to signals from the power grid.

State Grid Beijing was the most improved utility firm, increasing its score by 29 percentage points to 79 per cent this year from 50 per cent last year. It ranked ninth on the SGI, with improvements in data analytics, DER integration and security.

North American utility firms retained their global lead in smart grid development. The region moved up by eight percentage points in data analytics, thanks to increasing smart metre coverage and wide application of data analytics to their grid system. The top performer on the SGI was American company PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric), which scored 93 per cent, improving by seven percentage points.

SP itself ranked 33rd on the SGI with a score of 66 per cent this year, up 16 percentage points from last year, on the back of efforts to install an island-wide high-speed electric vehicle charging network.

SP developed the SGI in 2018 to advance its own grid development and encourage the sharing of best practices.