CerQlar integrates with HKNR - Upload your files and normalize your GO data

Untitled-design-5

Registries are an essential tool and an indispensable part of the renewable energy trading industry. But as the demand for green energy rises and the demands of the renewable energy market increase exponentially, automation and advanced functionalities are needed to accommodate the increasingly complex requirements of GO trading.

EU and local initiatives have pushed the GO market’s growth, and with that growth, trades are becoming larger and more complex, making the need for a digitized solution even more urgent. To keep up and scale up, the GO market will need to undergo a digital transformation. 

This is why some registries have begun offering APIs, though many have yet to take that much-needed leap. This doesn’t mean that you need to limit yourself to the registry’s capabilities; with the right tools, you can still experience the benefits of digitization even without an API.

CerQlar simplifies the GO post-trading process. Request a meeting to learn more.

CerQlar already supports a number of registries, including Statnett/NECS, GSE, VREG, and CWAPE, and we’ve now expanded to include the general guarantees of origin registry (HKNR) powered by UBA.

Managing your HKNR (UBA) inventory just got easier

CerQlar allows you to easily manage and scale your trading activity in a user-friendly platform designed to meet the needs of traders, consumers, and producers in the energy market. 

CerQlar already supports a number of registries, including Statnett/NECS, GSE, VREG, and CWAPE, and we’ve now expanded to include the general guarantees of origin registry (HKNR) powered by UBA (the German Environmental Agency). Data exchange with HKNR needs to be managed manually and through the registry’s interface. Users can view their inventory in the form of a spreadsheet, filter, and take actions like transfer and request to cancel a certificate. Users are unable to use advanced filtering, connect certificates to specific trades, manage their trades, or plan ahead based on which certificates are available for future use. 

Additionally, if you have more than one HKNR (UBA) account or work with multiple registries, you can’t see your entire inventory in one place. This leads to an untenable situation in which transactions must be manually recorded across different systems. 

A single source of information is needed to provide standardization of data combined with advanced automation capabilities – CerQlar provides all of that in one user-friendly platform.

What if you could integrate your ETRM into a platform dedicated to GOs? Learn how CerQlar can help you with that.

CerQlar normalizes all inventories, providing a clear dashboard that can be easily sorted and filtered, allowing you to quickly locate and select specific certificates for trade. Simply upload your HKNR (UBA) inventory file to your CerQlar account and enjoy the extra time you’ll have on your hands. 

Once your file has been uploaded, you can immediately begin managing your inventory. This includes marking certificates that need to be transferred or canceled, connecting certificates to specific trades, and earmarking certificates for future opportunities.

Here are just a few of the functionalities you can enjoy with CerQlar:

CerQlar addresses the missing link between HKNR (UBA) inventory data and your IT solutions like an ETRM (Energy Trading and Risk Management system)

View changes to your inventory and earmark certificates for future trades

View which certificates have been assigned to specific trades, making it much easier to plan future trades and settlementsView and track your certificates’ entire trade lifecycles in a uniform and easy-to-navigate interface

Request a meeting with one of our experts and learn more about CerQlar.

Why it’s time for GO businesses to invest in the Mid-Office

e-book_preview

As the world’s demand for green energy rises, the European Guarantee of Origin (GO) markets are entering a new stage of rapid growth and volatility. Complexity is rising: more certificates, greater specificity, and the push for granularity.

Our eBook “How to drive down your GO settlement costs with technology: A GO Operator’s guide to delivering more business value” covers why it is essential to streamline settlement processes using technology and how GO operations specialists can drive business value.

Industry-wide pain points in the mid-office

If we take a look at what happens after certificate trades are made, there are risks to growth on the operations side. According to our proprietary research, many GO businesses are experiencing common pain points in the mid-office. 

Manual processing and settlement tasks associated with GO trades are rapidly growing in both volume and complexity. If left unaddressed, these inefficient mid-office processes can act as a traffic jam, collectively slowing us down. Manual processing is also unscalable from a cost standpoint and threatens to push settlement costs much higher.

The business risks are significant. The consequences of slow and tedious manual processing, patched-together internal systems, and even possible human error are larger than ever before. Professional risk management solutions for GOs are needed.

In today’s volatile markets, price movements coupled with increased trade frequency and complexity can lead to severe consequences such as inventory loss, certificate wastage, missed opportunities, and underutilized capital. 

Read our eBook here: How to drive down your GO settlement costs with technology: A GO Operator’s guide to delivering more business value

Stresses on the mid-office

Attention is often focused on the front-office and revenue maximization. However, the role of the mid-office deserves more attention, especially as the European Guarantee of Origin market undergoes transformation. 

With so much responsibility resting on the operation team’s shoulders, they need to work long hours to coordinate communication, manage information across various platforms, and examine inventory.  

When the market was still in its developmental stages, Operations Specialists in the mid-office could make do with general-purpose tools like Excel, or “modifying” an ETRM to do the job. Both options fail to adequately reflect the complexity of EACs today.

Especially during the end of the compliance period, operations teams are under extreme pressure and work overtime for weeks on end. It’s an untenable situation, especially in a tight labor market. Significant business risks of overworked teams include errors like possible losses and a failure to shift valuable inventory.

The only way to scale renewable energy certificates is with automation

On a macro level, for the European Guarantee of Origin industry to continue on its current growth path, automation must play a bigger role in introducing standards. 

On a micro level, for GO businesses, investing in workflow automation is a strategic choice that can enable them to handle greater capacity for certificates generated from green energy sources. 

Since the entire industry is still characterized by highly-manual processes, early adopters can gain a significant edge over their competitors by embracing workflow automation now. 

The GO market has long outgrown manual management tools, and a platform designed specifically to facilitate GO processing is long overdue.

The solution: workflow automation 

Workflow automation has matured in other markets, yet the high degree of complexity and customization – and the lack of a robust solution – have caused many European GO businesses to develop their systems internally.

But their business focus is on producing or trading renewable energy, and not necessarily on software development.

The result is that while in-house systems often exist to manage portfolios and perform tasks, the industry lacks a uniform solution that enables companies to manage transactions after they’ve occurred. 

New technologies are emerging that can enable you to get deeper insights into your portfolio more quickly.

How to solve key challenges with CerQlar

If we switch to solution mode, how can companies solve these problems within a short timeframe? Of course, every business that uses Environmental Attribute Certificates has its own unique set of challenges that require complex solutions.

Yet there is one common denominator that can help businesses right now increase both their processing capacity and efficiency – technology.

Workflow automation can solve pain points, and lay the necessary foundation for growth. CerQlar is the first Saas workflow solution designed for the GO markets. 

CerQlar was purpose-designed to make processing GO trades more efficient. CerQlar enables teams to collaboratively manage GO certificate trades, contracts, and inventory — all on one easy-to-use platform — from trade capture through invoicing.

Contact one of our Account Executives to learn more about how CerQlar can enable your business to scale.

7 reasons to embrace an automated guarantee of origin management platform (instead of Excel)

blog_posts_2022

Many organizations still rely on general-purpose tools like spreadsheets to perform critical business processes, including managing their guarantee of origin (GO) or energy attribute certificate (EAC) portfolios.
While spreadsheets certainly have their place, using them as your primary tool to manage GO or EAC portfolios presents several important drawbacks which may cost your business time and money.
With the emergence of new technology that allows you to automate processes and boost your output, it is time to step away from general management platforms and move toward purpose-built platforms for GO trade processing and settlement.

CerQlar simplifies the GO post-trading process. Request a meeting to learn more.

Managing your environmental certificates trade process with automation

Automated platforms can help you take your GO trading to the next level, giving you the tools you need to engage in larger and more complex trades. But that’s far from the only reason you should embrace automation. Here are a few more reasons why you should consider switching to a trade process automation platform to manage your GO portfolio:

1. Prevent data loss

The energy certificate trading market is growing at a rapid pace, and it is predicted to continue to do so in the future. As the market grows, so will the scope and complexity of your trades. General-purpose management tools like spreadsheets are not built to handle large and complex datasets, and once your data exceeds the tool’s limit, you’ll start running into program errors and system crashes.

This puts your business at risk of losing essential data and changes that you’ve worked hours on making but haven’t saved yet. Instead, protect your data by investing in a powerful and reliable platform built specifically to handle large volumes of data in the energy trading market.

2. Store all your data on a single platform

Currently, most traders have their data scattered across a variety of trading registries. Each registry uses its own format to store data, and each has its own functionalities. Collecting all the data and then converting it to a clear and readable format is both difficult and time-consuming. Automated platforms can integrate with country-specific registries, such as HKNR (Germany) and GSE (Italy), and API-based registries like Statnett. This means that you now have access to all your data through a single location, making tasks such as inventory management and payment processing far simpler.

3. Save time and money

In our experience, on average, it takes four hours to settle one single trade deal using manual processes (including spreadsheets), which involves engagement from multiple back, mid, and front office employees. By using a post-trading platform that automates key processes, you can speed up the settlement process and free your operators to focus on other tasks, effectively reducing costs and increasing your output.

4. Avoid manual errors

Manual data entry is a complex and time-consuming process. Although operators are thorough, errors can happen and may be difficult to detect when multiple people access and input data manually. Even the most minor inaccuracies can have a major impact on your business.

Fortunately, automation software eliminates the need for manual data input, making it possible to avoid mistakes and reducing the risk of damage to your reputation and potential revenue loss.

What if you could integrate your ETRM into a platform dedicated to GOs? Learn how CerQlar can help you with that.

5. Collaborate more easily

Processing and settling trades is a collaborative and sophisticated process that requires multiple people working together and communicating across different platforms. To allow teams to collaborate efficiently, information needs to be understandable and easy to access, ideally from a single location. Using tools designed for the GO market allows you to enjoy the benefits of a tool built with collaboration in mind. These tools make it easy to keep track of all processes, giving you the ability to quickly communicate your needs and make better and more informed decisions.

6. Integrate with other systems

General-purpose tools aren’t designed to work with other platforms. Streamline your processes by using a dedicated, purpose-built platform that’s catered to the bilateral nature of the GO trading process. Use a trade process automation platform that can connect seamlessly with other required systems, allowing you to process trades and handle trade settlements in one interface. This helps you drastically reduce processing time and avoid unnecessary work.

7. Discover new opportunities

Manually collecting and processing data on spreadsheets requires the active decision to do so – something happened that made you want to collect and look at the data. What about all of the market opportunities you didn’t know about? All of those missed decisions? By having the data in front of you at all times in one place, without having to manually collect it yourself, you can discover new market opportunities that you may have missed before.

Select the right tool for the right job

Software tools should make your business processes more efficient and relieve you of tedious and repetitive tasks. Unfortunately, general management tools don’t accomplish this goal, often making the process more drawn out and leaving it prone to error.

Using general tools, like ETRMs, may have worked until now, but as the market grows, a tool that is designed especially for the EACs market is essential. CerQlar offers a platform designed to support your productivity with automated features that enable streamlined portfolio management and allow you to capture your trade and portfolio data and make it easily accessible on a single, flexible, scalable platform.

Request a meeting with one of our experts and learn more about CerQlar.

What 100s of hours of interviews with GO market participants taught us

Add-a-heading

We hosted a webinar to share the insights we’ve gained through hundreds of hours of interviews with GO market participants. Our objective is to standardize the Energy Attribute Certificate (EAC) markets and enable participants to keep up with ever-developing demands.

To develop our solution, we interviewed hundreds of participants in the GO market to find out their perspectives, pain points, and aspirations for the future and hosted a webinar to share the insights we gained from these interviews.
The webinar was moderated by Konstantinos Sklavenitis, our account manager, and featured Martin Edling Anderssen, CerQlar’s Principal Product Manager, and G Young Van, our User Experience Designer.

Would you like to learn what CerQlar looks like? Schedule a demo.

The interviewing process

The interviews included contributions from every level of the GO market and were held with GO traders, portfolio managers, power originators, heads of IT, and mid and back-office staff. Interviewees also included risk managers and compliance officers, to a lesser extent. The interviewees came from organizations working in the corporate, production, utility, and supply sectors in the wholesale electricity market across Europe and the US. They were carefully chosen from across the spectrum of the GO trade lifecycle to ensure that our research provided as thorough an understanding as possible of the stages and challenges of capturing, managing, and settling GO trades.

These interviews are an ongoing part of our design thinking process, starting since CerQlar began two years ago. The process began with large volumes of discovery interviews for the first six months after CerQlar’s inception before we went into design mode. Since then, we’ve continued working with design partners throughout the process to test and re-test each design and feature iteration. We meet with our partners weekly, and our current product is built on the foundation of countless hours of listening to our partners and observing their challenges.

We also used design thinking strategies to ensure our product caters directly to our users’ needs. Design thinking is an iterative process that relies on understanding the people we design for through observation and experimentation. Before we began any design processes, we started from scratch, viewing our users’ goals and challenges from a “Beginner’s Mindset” and understanding the state of the GO market from the perspective of actual participants.

What we learned about the Guarantee of Origin market

These studies brought three crucial findings to our attention, which kept cropping up over hundreds of hours questioning a diverse range of interviewees.

The process of managing GO trades and inventory is practically untouched by technological innovation

Unlike comparable industries, such as the financial market, much of the renewable energy certificate trade process is still managed manually. Participants revealed that they still rely on outdated technology such as spreadsheets, email, and even phone calls to manage trades and inventory. This results in information being siloed in each participant’s inventory, which must then be exchanged via email or other manual communication. Contracts are shuttled to various users via email, and certificate deliveries are complex and unwieldy.

The lack of specialized solutions

While there are frequently systems in place to deal with physical power, there aren’t any specialized systems designed to deal with Energy Attribute Certificates such as GOs. As a result, many operations have to be performed manually or by using three or four systems at once to register a trade. In addition, complex actions such as checking off which papers have been paid must be performed manually, dragging out the settlement process.

The need for standardization

All EU registries adhere to the AIB specifications backend, but the data and the functionality they expose to the end users vary greatly. Although you would expect the results of exporting your GO registry to be similar across registries, the formats and the data available are anything but uniform. In addition, a large number of frameworks don’t offer an API. This makes it difficult to keep track of certificates and transfers, particularly when they involve multiple registries.

CerQlar integrates with HKNR. Contact us and learn more.

Why these insights about the GO market matter

All of the above issues have created an untenable situation in which transactions must be manually recorded across different systems, draining time and effort. The need for a single source of information that would provide standardization and automation is urgent. CerQlar is designed to be that one source of information by allowing you to manage the entire process on a single platform uniformly. Storing information in a uniform way makes automating activities possible and allows you to manage your positions even when your inventory is spread out across many registries.

With each organization accustomed to doing business its own way, we need to bring a standardized way of doing business to the market. All marketplaces need standards to create the degree of predictability required for automation. 

Creating a standardized, innovative user experience using Design Thinking

Our interview process didn’t just have a big impact on the product as a whole but also on its usability. The UX team narrowed it down to three crucial findings:

Create a common but improved journey 

Each organization is unique, and even within an organization, there are many different preferences and use cases to contend with, but we identified a common user journey in our research. Basing our design on this journey makes it easier for users to adapt to the platform and organize their tasks better. For example, current market expansion has led operators to take on additional tasks as it is unclear whose roles the tasks fall under. We want to help our users avoid this ambiguity by creating a clearer and more transparent workflow for everyone involved. The simplest way to do so is by creating a standardized user journey that allows room for innovation.

Use frameworks users are familiar with

People are generally creatures of habit and prefer an interface that is intuitive to use or familiar. Knowing which systems users are familiar with gives the design team invaluable information that could be used for design decisions. For example, many of our users managed their portfolios with spreadsheets, so we implemented the spreadsheets’ design language and flexibility into our platform. This allows users to immediately take to the interface, as their familiarity with the layout and processes makes navigating the platform intuitive. Many users have already shared positive feedback and begun thinking of future feedback to share so we can make our platform even better!

Small changes can have significant effects

Our user interviews revealed critical insights we could only gain from our users. Platforms that require users to add more information throughout the trading process require traders to invest more time. Adding features such as frequently-used groups instead of expecting users to click the issuing countries individually has significantly impacted the time users need to invest in each trade. Users highly valued a simple change that presented a relatively small technical challenge for us.

Implementing the data to create a better product

Knowing that most registries don’t offer an API connection, we offered users the option of uploading inventory files from non-API-enabled registries while API registries sync automatically. This allows users to view their inventory across registries easily. Additionally, the platform guides the users to perform tasks at the registry (such as transfer). Finally, the data collected from registries is unified into a single format, which users can easily use to manage their certificates.

Many insights we identified through research could be traced back to the lack of automation, standardization, and a single source for viewing data in the renewables market. The CerQlar platform provides the automation tool that solves these challenges, making it easy to migrate data which is then uniformly presented. This allows you to address both the short-term challenge of meeting current transaction obligations and the general challenge of managing your portfolio in the long term. 

It also allows you to seize opportunities and keep up with market changes as they occur. By helping our customers optimize their trading activities, CerQlar is becoming the go-to settlement solution for any environmental commodity. 

To learn more about what CerQlar can do for you and the insights we gained through hours of research, check out our full webinar recording.