The I-REC Standard supports Google’s first 24/7 matching test outside of the US and Europe
The I-REC Standard Foundation, Evident Services as I-REC(E) Code Manager, and SCX as the Chilean Issuer coordinated to support Google on their first 24/7 matching test outside of the US and Europe. The I-REC Standard was delighted to have worked with the Google team on this, and while it was a live test of these unique procurement options, it provided valuable learning opportunities that will be implemented in 2022 as 24/7 matching is rolled out on a market-wide basis.
The I-REC Standard Foundation believes that procurement structures based on 24/7 matching is going to be an important tool for some stakeholder to meet their sustainability and internal goals. That said, the I-REC Standard also thinks it is of the utmost importance that these new and innovative procurement structures do not undermine the core principles of attribute tracking systems that stakeholders have worked 20-years and in many jurisdictions to improve. The I-REC Standard sees this method of procurement as a reduction in the accounting period to a 15-minutes or an hourly basis instead of the more common day, month, or year accounting periods.
The I-REC Standard also recognizes that the 24/7 work is closely connected to the work the organization is doing to create Accredited Market Platforms and it is our belief that REC markets need reliable national market players to facilitate the robust and reliable issuance of certificates. However, the services that are used to transfer, trade, redeem, visualize, categorize, or facilitate the use of attribute tracking certificates need to be as evenly distributed as possible. Many organizations have compared this manner of thinking to something like the fintech industry, where there is centralized data storage (data, in this case, being money in a bank account) and third-party applications software that has access to a bank account and offer a variety of services and views of an account. When one such service provider changes the contents of the account such as in the case of a bank currency, this is accomplished automatically and instantaneously on the primary account, and the amended data is then available to all such service providers, as well as the owner of the account. The I-REC Standard and Evident Services as the I-REC for Electricity Code Manager are facilitating this thinking for EAC markets through the development of Accredited Platforms, third-party accessible APIs, and clear rules for market implementation.
It is important to note that the impact of 24/7 procurement has not been analyzed in detail by industry experts and as such the I-REC Standard is cautious to say if these unique procurement methods will benefit the development of low-carbon, renewable, and storage technologies more than say monthly accounting periods would. Nor does the I-REC Standard believe this is a replacement for a smart policy such as the implementation of reliable disclosure (or full-disclosure) policy.
This said the work that was done with Google helped the Foundation and its associated Accredited Entities to understand the practicalities of existing issues and determine fair rules for implementation of 24/7 procurement across the market. The I-REC Standard Foundation in coordination with Evident Services is now working with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) – I-REC(E) issuer in Thailand – to ensure that 24/7 certificate matching is possible, for any market player, without direct intervention by Q3 of this year. Additionally, The I-REC Standard Foundation also supports the vision of the RECS Energy Certificate Association (formerly RECS International) related to 24/7 procurement. Their report on this document can be seen here. The I-REC Standard is very pleased to have had the opportunity to coordinate with Google on this activity and congratulates them on all their hard work.