A collapse in the price of renewable energy certificates, and no sense of when prices will recover, has imperilled some $1.5 billion worth of investments in wind farms, according to a report in The Australian.

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) subsidise wind farms, solar schemes and other renewable energy projects which receive one certificate for each megawatt of power produced above a baseline set by the Office of Renewable Energy Regulator.

The collapse in prices has cast uncertainty over the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative, Australia’s largest baseload renewable energy generator, as it may be forced into receivership by February if REC prices do not double in the next three months, the report said.

RECs are currently trading at about $28.40, which is down some 20 per cent from October when they were at $36, and below the $45-$50 needed to encourage further investments in wind farms and sustain the NSW Sugar operation. Prices have remained low because of a glut in RECs issued through government-subsidised solar-panel installations in households, according to The Australian.

source: businessspectators