El Salvador carried out the first Clean Energy Certificate Transaction through I-REC Standard International.

San Salvador, May 26, 2021. Mercados Eléctricos (Merelec), part of the Merelec Group, announces the first transaction of clean energy certificates in El Salvador, through the REC international certification granted by The International REC Standard Foundation based in the Netherlands.

The first transaction of certificates was registered on May 6, 2021, purchased by ENERWIRE, a leading manufacturer of copper, aluminum and bimetallic electrical conductors, as part of its sustainability strategy "Energreen", which also includes self-supply of energy using a photovoltaic system installed atop the roof of its production plant.

Thanks to this transaction and redemption of energy certificates generated with renewable resources, ENERWIRE can offer the local and international market products that have been manufactured with 100% renewable energy during the year 2020, becoming the first Salvadoran company to reach this milestone.

«Our sustainability strategy -Energreen- is based on four main pillars: (1)energy, (2) sub-products, (3)water and (4)waste... One of the strong pillars is energy... We are the first Salvadoran company to cover the entire (energy) consumption of our operation with clean energy using I-REC certificates.«

Rodrigo O’Byrne, General Manager at ENERWIRE.

This announcement was made for the first time during the Clean Energy Certificates Webinar "New Mechanisms to Boost Renewable Energy Consumption in Central America",where it was announced in front of a technical forum of more than 100 professionals from the Central and Latin American energy sector.

About I-REC Clean Energy Certificates

One Clean Energy Certificate represents the environmental attributes - for example, the reduction in CO2 emissions - that are created when electricity is generated using renewable resources rather than fossil fuel sources.

Certificates can be an effective method for a company for "greening" the electricity consumed as they are a separate product from its associated electricity allowing customers to purchase the attributes of renewable energy generation independently of their electricity supply.

Certifying energy consumption represents several benefits for both the clean energy generation industry and the consumer who purchases it, among them we can mention, respectively.

For the generating companies:

  • Obtain higher profits for the same production, without the need of additional investment.
  • Obtain additional income without modifying their economic activities.
  • Become part of an international community recognized under the I-REC Standard.
  • The renewable generation, together with the environmental benefits it represents, becomes traceable.

For end users:

  • Greening its supply, thereby communicating the company's environmental values.
  • Certifies that the company encourages the use and investment in renewable energies.
  • Acquires reliability in its climate change risk management.
  • Attracts customer segments with sustainability paradigms.

The best way to ensure the fidelity of the certificates is through international standards that govern the issuance of new certificates through the strictest guidelines, complying with traceability criteria that allow verifying that the certificates produced by the renewable generation facilities are delivered in the specified quantity and ensuring the non-duplicity of these.

About Merelec

Since 2018 Merelec participates as a validator node of the Energy Web Chain (EWC), the first open source and enterprise grade Blockchain for the energy sector worldwide.

From this initiative Merelec has developed several applications in the uses of the EWC among them, the pilot test of a digital platform for the commercial exchange of renewable energy addressed to the I-REC markets in Central America, which successfully culminated in June 2020.

To boost the platform within El Salvador and the region, the first step was to obtain the authorization of El Salvador as a certificate issuing country, to subsequently register Merelec as a recognized participant in the I-REC International Registry.

After this, the work was focused on achieving the registration of the first Salvadoran renewable generator and the issuance of the first certificates from local production, which led us to the first redemption transaction for green energy consumption in El Salvador, with the company Enerwire.

The main objective was and still is to develop a certificate market with regional scope and facilitate the dynamism of the process of commercialization of clean energy attributes.

Merelec is a participant of the I-REC registry, meaning that beneficiaries who decide to make their transactions through Merelec do not need to assume the verification process and costs involved in becoming a participant of the I-REC registry, but can receive their certificates through a simplified application where the entire certificate procurement process is performed by Merelec.

I-REC Certificates in Latin America and the world

As of March 2021, there were more than 190 I-REC certificate participants and more than 793 registered plants in 30 countries, with China and Brazil being the largest issuers in 2020, followed by countries such as Colombia, Mexico and Chile.

. In Central America there are 15 registered plants as of May 2021, and 86 redemption declarations have been made in the region this year. The I-REC market has seen an equivalent annual growth of more than three digits in plant registration, emissions, and certificate redemptions according to official data from the I-REC Standard.

We worked together with the I-REC Foundation to authorize El Salvador as an issuing country for clean energy certificates, enabling Salvadoran generators to obtain additional benefits from the sale of their certificates. In addition, we are the first Salvadoran participant in the I-REC registry.

What does this mean for El Salvador?

The certificates allow consumers to make choices according to their environmental preferences, and therefore open the door to raising public awareness on issues such as emissions reduction and climate change, enabling the involvement of the population in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The demand for certificates sends signals to the market that a country or region has a high interest in investing in renewable generation and allows the owners of generation assets to have better profitability for the same economic activities.

The REC market in El Salvador and Central America is in its early stages of development and there are still several challenges ahead:

  • Establish national and regional regulations for the issuance and redemption of Clean Energy Certificates (tax exemptions, treatment of certificates in PPAs, etc.).
  • Designate a local issuer to certify renewable energy production in the region, providing value to generators and Proof of Claim to consumers. Proof of Claim a los consumidores.
  • Establish clear regulations on the ownership of environmental attributes.
  • Actively work for the sophistication and transparency of the Certificate market.
  • Guarantee the role of Clean Energy Certificates through national or regional regulated markets.

Merelec, which celebrates 20 years of operations in the regional energy sector in 2021, invites the business sector to promote the generation of clean energy by purchasing the certificates that its attributes generate, at an affordable cost and with a great environmental impact.

To learn more about this and other initiatives visit www.mercadoselectricos.com.sv 


Sofía Leiva | Marketing and PR | sleiva@grupomerelec.com

Carlos Chávez | Director of Projects and Investments | cchavez@grupomerelec.com