Archive for May, 2019

California LCFS Market Sees First Quarterly Credit Surplus Since Q4 2017

Posted May 6th, 2019 by SRECTrade.

On April 30th, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released Q4 2018 data on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) market in California. Notably, the market saw an LCFS credit surplus of approximately 67k credits, snapping a deficit streak of four straight quarters. Approximately 3.27 million metric tons (MT) of credits were generated in Q4 2018 compared to 3.20 million MT of deficits in the same time frame. This credit surplus can be largely attributed to the uptick in clean diesel substitutes, namely renewable diesel and bio-diesel, which from a volumetric perspective, increased 37.2% and 14.8%, respectively, from Q3 to Q4 2018.

The following chart shows credit production changes for the highest credit-producing fuels in the LCFS market:

Source: CARB

With an average quarter-over-quarter credit increase rate of 9.11% since Q1 2011, the Q4 2018 increase of 16.89% from Q3 2018 is well above the running average. However, when factoring out the increases in renewable diesel and bio-diesel credit generation, overall credit generation only increased 1.45% from Q3 to Q4 2018. As such, monitoring the influx of renewable diesel and bio-diesel in the marketplace will be integral to projecting credit growth over the next few quarters.

The following chart shows deficit changes for the two baseline deficit-producing fuels in the LCFS market:

Source: CARB

While CARBOB and diesel fuels both saw a volumetric and deficit-production decline in Q4 2018, the influx of renewable diesel into the market produced 160k deficits in Q4 2018. This outpaced the deficit decrease in traditional deficit-producing fuels, increasing the overall deficit count by 2.03% from Q3 2018.

The following chart released by CARB illustrates the overall LCFS market trends:

Source: CARB

With a step down in the Carbon Intensity (CI) Compliance Standard in 2019, we will likely see an uptick in deficit production beginning in Q1 2019, barring any major changes in fuel production. The influx of renewable diesel will continue to be a determining market force from both a credit and deficit perspective.

With regards to pricing, in recent weeks, we have seen pricing come off its ~$200 peak after CARB proposed a hard $200 price cap (in 2016 $ indexed for inflation) on the program in a workshop on April 5th. As of recent, CA LCFS spot market pricing has ranged between $180 and $185/credit.

SRECTrade offers LCFS credit management and brokerage services to electric vehicle (EV) fleet operators, OEMs, EV charging station owners, and other asset owners. We help our clients navigate through the entire LCFS process including asset registration, ongoing reporting requirements, transacting, settlement, and remittance of funds. Our domain expertise in environmental commodity markets allows us to provide our clients with industry leading regulatory and market knowledge. Please reach out to cleanfuels@srectrade.com for more information.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Announces Support For AEPS Expansion

Posted May 3rd, 2019 by SRECTrade.

On Monday, April 29th, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf declared his support for Senate Bill 600 (SB 600). In conjunction, Gov. Wolf released the fourth iteration of the state’s Climate Action Plan, providing recommendations for how the state can mitigate climate change, and also announced that Pennsylvania joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 24 states committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Initially introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly on April 10th, SB 600 was referred to the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee on April 29th. The bill updates the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) for the first time since the AEPS was established in 2004, calling for four primary changes:

  1. Expand the AEPS Tier I requirement from 8% by 2021 to 30% by 2030
  2. Expand the AEPS solar carve-out from 0.5% by 2021 to 10% by 2030, including 7.5% for grid-supply solar and 2.5% for distributed generation (DG) solar
  3. Minimize rate increases for electricity customers by introducing fixed alternative compliance payment (ACP) schedules and a 15-year SREC eligibility term for solar facilities (beginning on June 1, 2021)
  4. Direct the PA Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to explore a program for renewable energy storage
Table 1.
Table 2.
Table 3.

SB 600’s introduction of solar carve-out compliance categories between “customer-generators” and “non-customer-generators” marks a first for the state. Tables 2 and 3 above display the proposed solar carve-out requirements and solar alternative compliance payment (SACP) schedules between the two respective categories. The bill defines customer-generators as solar facilities that were certified on or before May 31, 2021 and also appears to define them as “behind-the-meter” facilities. Conversely, it appears that non-customer-generators are defined as grid-supply facilities, although the exact definitions of both categories may be subject to change.