REC Diagram Explanation
Renewable Energy Certificate or REC represents delivery of 1 MWh of renewable energy to the grid and all associated environmental benefits of displacing 1 MWh of conventional powers. Let’s break it down the concept step by step for you from how REC is generated to its benefits.
There are 2 types of energy generators that produce electricity, namely traditional energy generator and renewable energy generator. The first type is traditional energy generator that uses non-renewable fuels such as coal and natural gas. Energy generated from this plant produces carbon pollutants as by-product. Let’s call this type of energy as brown energy. Second type of energy generator is renewable energy generator. It harnesses renewable sources as fuel such as solar, wind, small hydro, biomass and biogas. The energy generated is referred to as green energy as zero or little carbon is produced in the energy generation.
Now, both brown and green energy generated is fed into the same power pool. We know from school that electrons have no color (carbon) tagging, so it impossible to differentiate between green or brown. Nonetheless, international guidelines, such as TIGRs and IREC, have established mechanism on how to track green energy that leads to the creation of REC. For every 1 MWh of green energy that flows to the power grid, one REC is created and tracked on Malaysia Green Attribute Tracking System (mGATS) platform.
So how REC impacts your electricity consumption? Well, nothing changes physically, as in you still get your electricity like normal from the power grid. But there is a difference when you own a REC. REC gives you the power to determine how your electricity is produced. You get to choose whether you receive green and clean energy or brown and carbon polluting energy. Only the owners of REC can declare that they are green powered. The proceeds from the REC that you purchase from mGATS will then be used to construct more and more renewable energy plants. REC also gives the signal to the market that more and more electricity users prefer to be powered by green and consequently this leads to more and more renewable energy plants to be planted up. Now, that’s a green revolution!