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NZ Company Trades 90% of GDP in One Week

M-co, the company that runs the electricity market in New Zealand, is providing a trading simulation for European environmental certificates that traded NZ$91 billion over the past week.

There is growing interest in trading green electricity around the world. For example, many of the European Union member countries have government policy providing an incentive to increase renewable energy outputs. The European Renewable Electricity Certificate Trading (RECerT) project involves a European Commission sponsored renewable electricity certificate trading simulation across Europe in May this year.

170 traders from sixteen countries were involved in a internet based simulation that traded E45 billion over sixteen hours in the last week - the equivalent of 90% of New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product.

"We are thrilled that our first initiative in Europe is succeeding to such an extent," said Philip Bradley, M-co's Chief Executive. "RECerT is a demonstration of M-co's commitment to developing environmental markets that meet the needs of the environment, market participants and regulators. It also proves that New Zealand innovation is valued the world over."

The on-line trading platform M-co is using for the RECerT simulation is specially designed to meet the demands of renewable certificate trading and provides a practical way to teach generators, traders, suppliers and consumers how to maximise benefits and minimise risk through renewable energy trading.

"Basically, renewable certificate systems work by allowing members to trade the value attached to the "green nature" of electricity produced by renewable power stations. These green electricity certificates or 'rights' are traded separately to the physical electricity, which is sold, as normal, through the local distribution system," said Mr Bradley

"A market in green certificates has some big advantages. It promotes the development of new renewable energy schemes at least cost to consumers, sends the right sort of signals about locating renewable energy generation near the best resource and is socially responsible while being fully consistent with the principles of liberalised energy markets," said Mr Bradley.

In a separate initiative M-co is implementing a Green Electricity Market (GEM) in Australia. GEM is an internet-based platform designed to facilitate the creation, trading and acquittal of Renewable Electricity Certificates.

M-co is one of New Zealand's e-commerce successes. Established in 1993, to set up the New Zealand electricity market, M-co now operates the biggest business-to-business e-commerce operation in Australasia.

Early in 2001, it opened an office in Sydney, where it is implementing GEM and running a registry database of green electricity certificates for the Australian Federal Government. New developments for the company in South East Asia will be announced shortly.

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