Renewable Energy Certificates, or RECs, are non-tangible energy products, traded like any other commodity, and are used in varying forms around the world in order to demonstrate renewable energy consumption.
The eligibility of a generation station may differ between locations, but in essence an energy certificate is issued per MWh of eligible generation.
These certificates can then be traded on open markets with the end-buyer being the party which is able to demonstrate, through certificate redemption, that their consumption within a given timeframe was sourced from respective generation criteria.
The rules within certain national and international systems can vary. Although in context the principle remains the same.
The Renewable Energy Certification Program “REC Brazil” is a joint initiative of the Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEólica) and the Brazilian Association of Clean Energy (Abragel), with support from the Electric Energy Trading Chamber (CCEE) and the Brazilian Association of Energy Marketers (ABRACEEL), and aims to promote the market for energy generated from renewable sources and with high performance in terms of sustainability.
The programme was created in 2011 by a technical group designated by ABRAGEL and ABEEOLICA, involving several experts with expertise in the areas of energy, sustainability, market and certification, who were responsible for defining the concepts involved for a sustainable production device.
The certification cycle in REC Brazil works as follows: the production device must adhere to the REC Brazil Regulation and sign a contract with the Totum Institute, Certification Manager.
The production device will then be audited by a third-party organization accredited by the programme. After this on-site audit and if the results are in accordance with the criteria of the programme (each energy source has a specific Technical Standard), the process is sent to a Certification Committee, which makes the final determination based on the recommendations of the Audit Office.
From its initial certification, the production device starts receives monthly issued RECs (/MWh), based on generation of energy as proven by the CCEE measurement reports. The producer is then able to market and transfer its RECs to other parties.
The REC Brazil programme uses the I-REC global platform as a tracking system for the issuing process.
For further information on the REC Brazil programme, click here.
A Guarantee of Origin (GO or GoO) is an instrument defined in European legislation, that labels electricity from renewable sources, and provides information to electricity customers on the source of their energy.
Guarantees of Origin in the meaning of Directive 2009/28/EC are the only precisely defined instrument which can evidence the origin of electricity generated from renewable energy sources. This will be considered when analysing the Fuel Mix Disclosure (FMD) or a given consumer, supplier, or nation.
In operation, a GO is a tracking instrument primarily for disclosure which guarantees that a given MWh of electricity has been produced from a renewable energy source. They can then be traded as documentation for electricity delivered or consumed. Once a GO is issued by the respective issuing body, it represents a produced MWh. Most guarantees of origin can be transferred to other accounts, nationally or internationally, and then can be cancelled to represent disclosure. If they are not cancelled they will expire.
This single standardised instrument makes it possible to track ownership, verify claims, and ensure that a MWh of electricity (Guarantee of Origin certificate) can be used only once to demonstrate consumption through disclosure – ensuring there is no double counting of the same MWh production.
Analysis into the issuance and cancellation within the European Energy Certificate System (EECS) shows the growth and trends of this market as member states of the association of issuing bodies (AIB) adhere to this standardised EECS system.
Certificates are issued for renewable, fossil, and nuclear based technologies but not necessarily in each member state.
Quick EECS GO links:
The member states of the AIB are:
Czech Rep. (CZ)
Lithuania (LT) (import only)
The guarantee of origin system in Hungary was introduced by the Electricity Act LXXXVI of 2007
The Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (MEKH) issues GO certificates per MWh for electricity. This production can be from either a renewable energy source, waste or from high efficiency cogeneration. These GOs are then used for the purpose of electricity disclosure.
Quick Hungarian GO links:
Within India’s Electricity Act of 2003, the policies together with the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), provide a roadmap for increasing the share of renewable energy in the total generation capacity of the country.
However, the renewable energy generators are not evenly spread around India.
Key aspects of the Indian REC Framework:
- Generators have two options – either to sell the renewable energy at preferential tariff fixed by the concerned Electricity Regulatory Commission, or to sell the electricity generation and environmental attributes associated with the generation separately.
- The Central Agency will issue the REC to RE generators.
- The value of REC will be equivalent to 1 MWh of electricity injected into the grid from renewable energy sources.
- The distribution companies, Open Access consumers, Captive Power Plants (CPPs) have the option to purchase RECs to meet their Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO), a figure which is set by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) under the Act.
Quick Indian REC links:
The International REC Standard is a non-profit organization that provides a robust attribute tracking systems around the world.
This standard requires local stakeholders and government authorities to facilitate national implementation in adherence with local or national regulations. Based upon the I-REC Standard codes and associated documents – the blueprints for the attribute tracking system – l-REC independent issuers are able to implement robust and transparent attribute tracking systems, ensuring the highest quality systems and adherence to best practices for the avoidance of double counting, double certificate issuance and double attribute claiming.
The I-REC Standard governing board regulates the use of the I-REC code and associated documents.
Quick I-REC links:
The Directive 2009/28/EC, which is the legal basis for the creation of GO registries, has been implemented into Polish law in September 2013. A year later TGE has launched the GO Registry. Under Polish law, it is the Energy Regulatory Office that issues GOs, which are then uploaded into their system. Registry users have the option to trade guarantees or transfer them to end users as proof that the Energy they bought has been produced by Renewable sources. They also have the option to apply to TGE for a certificate, which serves as additional confirmation of the amount of electric energy transferred.
Quick Polish GO links:
The United Kingdom’s Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) scheme allows suppliers and/or consumers to demonstrate that a proportion, or all, of their electricity that supply is sourced from renewable generation.
REGO certificates are issued per MWh of eligible renewable generation to generators of the said renewable electricity.
REGOs are able to demonstrate that the end-consumed volume [against which the REGO was redeemed] was produced from renewable sources.
REGOs are used in Great Britain and Northern Ireland for fuel mix disclosure (FMD) purposes.
Under legislation, the UK fuel mix disclosure requires licensed electricity suppliers to disclose the mix of fuels used and supplied to customers within a given compliance period (CP).
Quick UK REGO links:
Ofgem Public Reports and Updates: FMD / REGO / GO / FIT
- Feed-in Tariff (FIT): Annual Report 2017-18
- Recognised Guarantees of Origin 2018
- EU Guarantees of Origin (GoOs) Template Spreadsheet
- Recognised renewable energy Guarantees of Origin 2017
- Guidance for organisations on presenting Guarantees of Origin (GoOs) for use in GB Fuel Mix Disclosure (FMD) and Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) annual levelisation
- Feed-in Tariff (FIT): Annual Report 2016-17
- Feed-in Tariff (FIT): Annual Report 2015-16
- Recognised renewable energy Guarantees of Origin 2015
- Further clarification on 2015/16 Guarantees of Origin and implicit trading
- Clarification on 2015/16 Guarantees of Origin and implicit trading
- Decision on proof of UK consumption of overseas electricity consultation
- Summary of response to proposed changes to the process for presenting Guarantees of Origin to Ofgem after the removal of Climate Change Levy exemption for renewables from 1 August 2015
- Guidance for Organisations on presenting Guarantees of Origin for use in GB Fuel Mix Disclosure and Feed-in Tariffs annual levelisation (July 2015 – March 2016)
- Feed-in Tariff (FIT): Annual Report 2014-15
- GB Fuel Mix Disclosure: Guidance for Organisations Requesting Recognition of EU Guarantees of Origin for the period from 1 April 2015 to 31 July 2015
In the United States, Renewable Energy Certificates are also known as “Green tags”, “Renewable Energy Credits”, “Renewable Electricity Certificates”, or “Tradable Renewable Certificates” (TRCs).
These certificates are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities that represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated by an eligible renewable energy station.
Renewable Energy Certificates provide a mechanism for the purchase of renewable energy that enters, and is supplied from, the electrical grid.
These certificates can be sold and traded, and the end-user of the REC can claim to have purchased renewable energy.
WREGIS: Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System
M-RETS: Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System
ERCOT: Electric Reliability Council of Texas
PJM GATS: PJM Generation Attribute Tracking System
NEPOOL GIS: New England Power Pool Generation Information System
MIRECS: Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System
NC-RETS: North Carolina Renewable Energy Tracking System
NYSERDA: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (Under development)
NVTREC: Nevada Tracks Renewable Energy Credits
For information on the Green-E system, click here.
UK GREEN GAS CERTIFICATES
Biomethane (also known as ‘green gas’) can be produced from a number of sources including biogas from anaerobic digestion, landfill gas and synthetic gas (‘syngas’) from the gasification of biomass.
A complete overview is available from the Green Gas Certification Scheme here.
Natural Capital Partners have produced a Green Gas Certificate Factsheet. It highlights the interaction of gas certificates with Scope 1 Emissions and CDP reporting frameworks. The factsheet is available here.
During the webinar (featured video), we hear:
Siva Niranjan, Head of Environmental Sustainability at European information technology consultancy Sopra Steria Group, explain the decision to source biomethane (“green gas”) and what it is enabling the company to do in the context of its sustainability strategy,
Jesse Scharf, Project Manager at Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS) presented an update on the market along with the outlook for a European green gas market and Natural Capital Partners’ Chief Product Officer,
Oliver Crouch, shared the latest information about how companies can take advantage of this new market.
Quick Green Gas Certificate Scheme links: