COVID-19 Pandemic Takes a Toll on Solar REC Trading in March

As the country battles the virus, market sentiment is that of uncertainty


March witnessed a significant drop in trading volume of solar as well as non-solar renewable energy certificates (RECs). As the country fights the outbreak of Coronavirus. Markets all around the globe are feeling the repercussions of the pandemic in the form of subdued market activity. The non-solar clearing price came spiraling down to the floor price of ₹1,000 (~$13.25) on both the exchanges. Even though this is the end of the financial year 2019-20, the market didn’t see any demand that could fuel the market sentiment.

A cumulative total of sum of 48,682 solar RECs were traded on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) and Power Exchange India Limited (PXIL). Out of the total, 39,299 and 9,383 solar RECs were traded on the IEX and PXIL, respectively. The trade volume has dropped 96% compared to February.

The results are a far cry from February, which saw a significant upsurge on both the platforms. In February, a cumulative sum of 1,299,737 solar RECs was traded on both the trading platforms. Out of the total, 984,157 and 315,580 solar RECs were traded on the IEX and PXIL, respectively, according to Mercom’s February update.

On the IEX, the sale bid for solar RECs in March was at 39,299, and the buy bid was at 2,13,710. Whereas on PXIL, the sale bid for solar RECs in March was 37,336, and the buy bid was at 9,482.

On the IEX and PXIL, the price for solar RECs stood constant at ₹2,400 (~$31.81), which was the same for February.

Solar REC Market Trading

Speaking to Mercom on the drop in trading volumes of solar and non-solar RECs in March, Prabhajit Kumar Sarkar, Managing Director & CEO of PXIL, said, “With the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a drop in the trading volume of solar and non-solar RECs as the market sentiments turned uncertain and participating buying entities have been focused on conserving resources for their future needs.”

The Coronavirus pandemic is proving to be the solar industry’s biggest challenge this year, and the repercussions are being felt across industries all over the globe. Global supplies have been severely affected. The disruption has spread much farther than China because of the scale at which the country’s manufacturing operates. Most other solar markets are also reeling under the pandemic and have closed in one form or the other. Track the latest updates and impact of the pandemic on the renewable industry here.

The trading of non-solar RECs saw a dip of 6% in March when compared to February. A cumulative total of 789,766 non-solar RECs were traded on the IEX and PXIL, which was considerably lower when compared to 842,673 in February. The month also saw a reduction in the price of the non-solar RECs when compared with the previous month.

The volume of non-solar RECs traded on IEX stood at 480,379 as compared to 507,153 in February, whereas the volume of RECs traded on PXIL stood at 309,387 against 335,520 last month.

Non-Solar REC Market Trading

On the PXIL, the sale bid for non-solar RECs stood at 2,349,090, and the buy bid stood at 309,387. On IEX, the sale bid stood at 2,644,937, and the buy bid stood at 480,379.

On PXIL, a total of 319,000 RECs were successfully transacted. Of this, 309,000 were non-solar RECs, and 9,000 were solar. During the financial year 2019-20, a total of 2,900,000 RECs were traded on PXIL, comprising 603,000 solar and 2,297,000 non-solar RECs.

On the IEX, the price of non-solar RECs dropped by 44%, and it was ₹1,000 (~$13.25)/REC as compared to ₹1,800 (~$23.86)/REC in February. On PXIL, the change amounted to 51%, and the price of non-solar RECs was ₹1,000 (~$13.25)/REC as compared to ₹2,050 (~$27.17)/REC last month.

The CERC recently ordered the IEX to give wide publicity to Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) contracts by uploading it on its website and invite comments from all stakeholders and the public.