Your Questions About Renewable Energy Certificates

Carol asks…

What decent jobs can you get with a certificate 4 in renewable energy?

Not istalling or maintaining solar systems, but other things?

admin answers:

Although it is difficult to predict the future in these uncertain economic times, there are already many green energy related jobs. Here is a short list:
• Solar Lab Technician
• Solar and PV Installer/Roofer
• Solar Fabrication Technician
• Marketer of Solar Technologies
• Financial Analysts
• Solar Operations Engineer
• Solar Appliances Installer
• Architect (designing solar friendly homes)

Mandy asks…

What are RECs,Renewable Energy Certificates?

We produce green energy and we will get RECs for each 1000 kWh of elec. produced. What are RECs and what are they worth in us dollars?

admin answers:

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), also known as Green tags, Renewable Energy Credits, Renewable Electricity Certificates, or Tradable Renewable Certificates (TRCs), are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities in the United States that represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource (renewable electricity). Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are RECs that are specifically generated by solar energy.

These certificates can be sold and traded or bartered, and the owner of the REC can claim to have purchased renewable energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Green Power Network, RECs represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects and are sold separate from commodity electricity.

In states that have a REC program, a green energy provider (such as a wind farm) is credited with one REC for every 1,000 kWh or 1 MWh of electricity it produces (for reference, an average residential customer consumes about 800 kWh in a month). A certifying agency gives each REC a unique identification number to make sure it doesn’t get double-counted. The green energy is then fed into the electrical grid (by mandate), and the accompanying REC can then be sold on the open market.

Rices depend on many factors, such as the vintage year the RECs were generated, location of the facility, whether there is a tight supply/demand situation, whether the REC is used for RPS compliance, even the type of power created. Solar renewable energy certificates or SRECs, for example, tend to be more valuable in the 16 states that have set aside a portion of the RPS specifically for solar energy. This differentiation is intended to promote diversity in the renewable energy mix which in an undifferentiated, competitive REC market, favors the economics and scale achieved by wind farms. Current spot prices for SRECs in most states with solar portfolio standards can be viewed at SRECTrade. For example, prices in July, 2010 ranged from $255/SREC in Delaware to as high as $665/SREC in New Jersey.

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