What is a renewable energy certificate (REC)?

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Renewable energy certificates

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) were the primary commodity in the Renewable Energy Target (RET) prior to 1 January 2011. From 1 January 2011 RECs were split into types: small-scale technology certificates (STCs) and large-scale generation certificates (LGCs). RECs is still used as a general term covering both STCs and LGCs.

Small-scale technology certificates

Small-scale technology certificates (STCs) are created for eligible installations of solar water heaters, air source heat pumps and small generation units (small-scale solar panels, wind and hydro-electricity systems). One STC is generally equivalent to:

  • 1 MWh of renewable electricity generated by a small generation unit, or
  • 1 MWh of electricity deemed to be displaced by the installation of solar water heaters or air source heat pumps.

Large-scale generation certificates

Large-scale renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar farms, and hydro-electric schemes, are entitled to create large-scale generation certificates (LGCs). One LGC is equivalent to:

  • 1 MWh of renewable electricity generated above the power station baseline.

See large-scale generation certificates and small-scale technology certificates for more information.