“Mini REC” 101: Retail energy and carbon trading platform
published : 21 Oct 2021 at 07:05
The time has come when everyone, including you and me, can now produce and store energy for their own use and trade without a go-between power plant or government agency.
“Mini REC” is a retail energy trading platform developed by BlockFint, a Thai fintech startup founded in 2018 that specialises in using modern technology to create new, truly digital solutions for the banking and energy industries. In addition, Mini REC recently landed a fifth place in the digital startup category at “Spark Ignite 2021 – Thailand Start-up Competition” held by Huawei Technology (Thailand), Digital Economy Promotion Agency, and National Innovation Agency (NIA).
What is REC?
Peer-to-peer energy trading is conducted via a blockchain-enhanced platform between renewable power plants and communities. The energy producer is entitled to Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). The energy trading can take place along with or separate from RECs.
The trading transaction involves a participant (buyer), a registrant (seller), and an issuer, which in Thailand is the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). The minimum trading volume generally starts at 1 MWh, equal to 1 REC. After the buyer has informed the seller of the purchase, EGAT will inspect the seller and deliver the certified REC to the buyer. The buyer will pay for the REC directly to the seller. In each trade, both the buyer and seller are responsible for related fees of around 10,000 baht, including power plant registration, power plant renewal, REC certification, trading account opening, annual fee, redemption account opening, and redemption fee.
Mini REC: Inclusive future of energy trading
Current requirements restrict REC trading to only a few monopoly players, far from SMEs or the general public. Moreover, if you can produce less than 1 MWh, you are not entitled to enter the trade and will still face high fees in relation to the expected electricity produced. This has led to up to a 59% loss in REC value among retail power producers in Thailand.
Therefore, to meet the needs of retail traders, BlockFint has developed a solution by developing Gideon, a platform that allows REC trading in smaller units, known as a mini REC, with 100 kWh equalling 1 mini REC unit.
“Mini REC is a new horizon for REC trading for small power producers and the general public who would normally have to waste the RECs less than 1 MWh,” explains Suttipong Kanakakorn, CEO, BlockFint. “The new ecosystem gives consumers, sellers, buyers, and partners much easier access to REC trading.”
“The Gideon platform allows trading of both RECs and mini RECs. We believe that mini REC trading will encourage organisations and the public to consume more renewable energy. For example, partnered companies might offer discounts on products for mini REC use to promote clean energy use in Thai society.”
“The opportunity for mini RECs to become reality depends on relevant agencies responsible for the transaction. It also requires partners to promote clean energy in Thailand based on maximum benefits of the small power producers and general public. All this can lead to better awareness and more clean energy use in the public level.”