Programme

Monday 30 March 2020

  • Preconference 1: Introduction to the International REC Standard and associated markets

  • Preconference 2: Energy attribute certificates within legal contracts and PPAs

Tuesday 31 March 2020

  • 09:30 - 11:00 Keynote Session 1 - Can markets surpass policy?

    Renewable energy targets in the EU and beyond are insufficient to deliver the emissions reductions needed to limit global temperature rise below 1.5 degree centigrade. The move towards more energy-efficient economies and societies powered only by renewable energy systems clearly needs to be accelerated rapidly, but politicians continue to shy away from implementing such an ambitious agenda. Therefore, given how quickly markets can develop and create new paradigms (think of the internet, smartphones, etc.), could demand-side focused renewable energy markets, underpinned by EACs, move countries towards 100% renewables more effectively than policy? As public support schemes play less of a central role in the deployment of renewables, this keynote session – and much of the conference – will focus on the question: ‘are markets ready to take the lead?’

     

  • 11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break

  • 11:30 - 12:30 Session 2a - EAC Market developments

    A growing number of countries are using energy-attribute tracking systems based on established international standards such as guarantees of origin and I-RECs. Providing such systems in these markets has supported the growth of renewable energy based on consumer demand. In this session we will set out how and where new markets are opening up and the extent to which they can interact with each other. We will also address the challenges posed by some countries choosing to develop new, stand-alone attribute-tracking systems. Experts will discuss the scope for further growth in EAC markets and the lessons that can be learned from the growth we have seen to date.
     

  • 11:30 - 12:30 Session 2b - Germany: Market developments, review of cost socialisation

    Germany is rightly proud of its role as a trailblazer in the development of renewable energy – it is undoubtedly a pioneer in supporting the development of renewable energy technologies through public financing. However, could the country’s commitment to this model now be holding it back? Financial support has been reduced and is increasingly being made subject to auctioned tenders, but criticism about costs remains due to the historic burden of generous support that has been guaranteed for 20 years. In this panel we will discuss whether Germany could benefit from embracing the GO system wholeheartedly rather than through the piecemeal and potentially confusing use of local production certificates. Would this lead to a fairer distribution of the costs of new renewables among German consumers and a more efficient electricity market overall?
     

  • 11:30 - 12:30 Session 2c - Introduction to Energy Attribute Certificate systems – Part 1

    More information will follow.
     

  • 12:30 - 14:00 - Networking lunch

  • 14:00 - 15:00 Session 3a - Current thinking on best practice and guidance documents

    As energy attribute tracking systems become increasingly mature and play an increasingly important role in energy markets, their governance can become more complex. In this session we will discuss some of the more challenging aspects of participating in these established markets and the extent to which best practices and standard guidance documents can help overcome them. The panel will identify obstacles to maximising the efficiency of different EAC systems and markets and will give those attending a clear understanding of how to minimise the impact of governance problems and/or market barriers.
     

  • 14:00 - 15:00 Session 3b - United States of America: overcoming the lack of federal action?

    The US renewable energy certificates (RECs) system can be difficult to understand for outsiders, due to differences between the regulations in each state. In some states, there are no targets and renewable energy is both produced and consumed only for voluntary usage. In others, targets are based on the consumption of a minimum level of renewable power. These Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) account for a significant portion of consumption for which voluntary usage adds additional support. Despite the differences between states, the US is the second largest renewable energy market in the world, and one which continues to grow. In this session you will get a clear picture of the US system and hear whether action to encourage and support the consumption of renewables at the state level can overcome a lack of action by the federal government.
     

  • 14:00 - 15:00 Session 3c - Introduction to Energy Attribute Certificate systems – Part 2

    More information will follow.
     

  • 15:00 - 15:30 Coffee break

  • 15:30 - 16:30 Session 4a - Corporate supply chain policies boosting demand for renewable energy

    The RE100 group of corporate organisations which are committed to sourcing 100% renewable energy has historically been dominated by consumer-oriented businesses focused on presenting a progressive public image. This has been an important first step, but there are many businesses that never interact with the public or face direct calls for strong corporate social responsibility policies. Therefore, the early ‘B to C’ RE100 business could respond to increased demand for renewable energy by requiring their ‘B to B’ supply chain companies to exclusively source renewables. Could such an approach support the RE100’s goal of going from 100 to 100,000 companies only sourcing renewables? In this session we will ask what the potential is for such supply chain pressure and whether there are any factors that could limit its success.
     

  • 15:30 - 16:30 Session 4b - France: an in-depth exploration

    France has a complex energy system and it’s not an easy market to operate in. Dominant market players under public control and an energy mix that sees inflexible nuclear power dwarf other generators do not represent an encouraging landscape for innovation and an accelerated energy transition. Nevertheless, progress is being made. Having refused to issue GOs for power generators benefiting from national support, France recently opened regular auctions of GOs, which are run by Powernext. The scale of French issuance of GOs means that this could have a significant impact on the EU GO markets as a whole. This session will benefit from the insight of French experts involved in the country’s GO system in general and in the recent auctions specifically – they will offer an analysis as to whether these recent developments are having a positive impact in France and beyond.
     

  • 15:30 - 16:30 Session 4c - Introduction to Energy Attribute Certificate systems – Part 3

    More information will follow.
     

  • 17:00 - 17:30 Keynote session 5 - The market impact of falling technology costs

    Technical reports and news stories predicting that renewables would become the cheapest source of power are already proving correct. Renewables have gone from being expensive but necessary, to a competitive form of new capacity, to sometimes being the cheapest option for electricity generation in a remarkably short space of time. This rapid change could alter the way power markets function for good. The traditional role of the marginal generation cost curve in setting market prices could be significantly reduced as zero-marginal cost renewables dominate and other factors, such as location and time-based grid charges, become more prominent. As renewables become both cheaper and more predictably priced than alternatives with fossil-fuel input costs it is also likely that they will become the first choice, secured by EACs, of large and small consumers alike. This should lead to a market that drives new renewables capacity, as well as any required repowering of existing capacity. These developments and others will be explored in detail in this session.
     

  • Drinks

  • Dinner party

Wednesday 1 April 2020

  • 9:00 - 10:00 Session 6a - Market developments: volumes and prices

    Delegates will be happy to see this session, which has become a staple of the REC Market Meeting, in its traditional day 2 morning slot. Volumes, prices, trades, demand and trends – everything that the traders and originators among us need to prepare for the new year will be covered by expert speakers. Will the double-digit growth of recent years continue into 2020? Will trends such as increased demand, more complex product definitions and increased interest from stakeholders and policy-makers consolidate or accelerate? Could we see more frequent and more severe price shocks, or will a maturing market become easier to predict? The answers to these questions and more will make for an interesting session that covers REC markets in Europe and around the world – providing an overview of both developed and developing attribute-tracking markets.
     

  • 9:00 to 10:00 Session 6b - Australia: REC markets coming up ‘Down Under’

    The Australian energy market is anything but predictable. Australia has frequently fluctuating national climate and energy policies, a major export-focused coal industry, and some of the largest grid-level battery storage in the world. All of which makes this an interesting socio-economic context in which to develop an energy-attribute tracking system. This explanation of the intricacies of Australian REC markets will give participants a deeper understanding of this dynamic energy context. You will hear from those working in Australia and from Australian market players, who will provide insights that are rarely available in Europe.
     

  • 10:00 - 10:30 Coffee break

  • 10.30 - 11:30 Session 7a - Revisiting blockchain: what has stuck after the hype?

    Energy-attribute tracking ventures that use distributed ledger technologies (blockchains) have attracted a lot of attention in recent years, both positive and negative. The initial excitement that characterised the onset of these new technologies has somewhat cooled. So what is left of the hype? This session will build on a recent report by RECS International evaluating the common claims of such projects and evaluating whether or not they stand up to scrutiny. EU legislation makes it clear that the GO is the only instrument which can be used to guarantee the origin of renewable energy. As such, in this session we will ask whether and how blockchain and the GO market can be effectively integrated. Delegates will hear both from those running the blockchain projects and from those using the established EECS-GO system on the future potential of using distributed ledgers for attribute tracking.
     

  • 10.30 - 11:30 Session 7b - India: Renewable markets driving energy access

    India has over 120 GW of installed power capacity from renewable sources – representing over a third of the power generation capacity in the country. India’s ambitious 2022 targets for building on this capacity are making it a world leader in renewable energy. It is, therefore, a highly attractive market that has already received 0bn in investments towards the goal of adding 450 to 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, and one which is looking for hundreds of billions more. Solar power is the main renewable electricity technology in a country that is looking not only to increase its clean generation capacity, but which is also seeking to ensure, through significant decentralisation, that every household has access to affordable and reliable electricity. The Indian renewable energy market is supported by a well-established REC mechanism that is likely to grow in importance, as the country has already received a number of zero-support bids for solar power tenders. In this session we will describe the Indian renewable energy market in detail and highlight opportunities for its further development through RECs.
     

  • 11:30 - 12:00 Coffee break

  • 12:00 - 13:00 Keynote Session 8 - Standards: the globalization of consumer demand for renewables

    The three principal international REC standards – GOs in Europe, RECs in North America, and I-RECS in a growing number of other countries – exist alongside a number of national schemes. Given that many of the biggest producers and consumers of renewable energy are global multinational companies, this diversity of schemes can create challenges, potentially reducing their ability to maximise their participation in different renewable energy markets. One important way of combatting this is the development and use of common standards among the different REC schemes. There is already significant overlap in some areas, with national mechanisms in Europe interacting with the GO system, and trades of GOs and I-RECs into and out of the EU and neighbouring countries. In this session we will look at how such standardisation can be taken further to ease the use of RECs in all countries, reduce barriers to entry into renewable energy markets and increase consumer confidence in certified power purchases.