BEIJING, June 13 (Reuters) - China issued the first batch of green power trading certificates to 20 renewable generation projects on Monday, the country’s Securities Times newspaper reported on Tuesday, before the start of a programme to reduce government subsidies for renewables.
A total of 230,135 certificates, each representing 1 megawatt hour of power from renewable sources, were issued to projects launched by firms including the China Huaneng Group , China Huadian Corporation and China Energy Conservation Investment Corporation, the Securities Times said, citing the National Renewable Energy Information Management Centre that operates the programme.
The first projects to receive certificates covered a total installed generation capacity of 112.5 gigawatts and are located in six provinces, the newspaper said.
The Management Centre will start the green power trading programme on July 1. The scheme would ease the subsidy burden on China’s government for renewable power projects by introducing the certificates which will be valued no higher than the cost of the renewable power for either wind or solar plus the cost of the subsidy for the province where the project is located.
The country’s top planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), announced the green certificate plan in February.
Under the plan, renewable generators that sell their certificates would no longer receive direct subsidies for electricity production.
It will begin on a voluntary basis, with the NDRC considering making the scheme mandatory as early as next year, depending on its success.
Electricity consumers that want to buy power from renewable sources will buy the certificates to prove they have received electricity from green sources.
China plans to raise its non-fossil fuel portion of primary energy consumption to 15 percent from 12 percent by 2020.
Amid a surge in capacity, China has struggled to find the money to pay subsidies to renewable energy producers, with the shortfall last year believed to have exceeded 60 billion yuan ($8.83 billion), according to industry estimates. ($1 = 6.7967 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Muyu Xu in Beijing and David Stanway in Shanghai; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)