Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their renewable energy purchases in wider environmental context. There may be a need for further assurance, for efficient auditing, for creating a sustainable environment or desires to facilitate further the growth of renewable energy projects.
For consumers who wish to go above and beyond simply purchasing renewable electricity via a renewable energy certificate there are many products available in the market to facilitate this intention and enhance their claims.
Consumers may choose to procure renewable electricity from a specific technology, of a specific age or from a certain country, but they may also require that the electricity adheres to environmental standards.
These standards are promoted and evidenced through energy labels. Therefore, the consumer would be seeking to purchase volume certified under the relevant label in order to make their claims.
This page provides a brief introduction to several such energy labels and more will be summarised in the near future.
Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs) will also be documented.
Further Reading: Entelios Website
Bra Miljöval is referred to as “Good Environmental Choice” in English. This is an ecolabel for renewable energy with criteria set by the label owner, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.
The label is based on a fund model where money paid for the product by the consumer is set aside into a fund for ecosystem improvements to reduce local impact from the production.
The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation sets criteria for renewable energy from hydro, wind solar and bio.
One of the main criteria for hydropower is restrictions on waterflow to secure habitat and local ecosystems in the river and to avoid dry river beds.
Only hydro power plants built before 1996 are eligible for the label.
The aim of the label is to stimulate the transition from a nuclear and fossil over to a renewable energy system and to help consumers to choose renewable energy with low environmental impact.
EPD is the acronym for Environmental Product Declaration.
This is documentation which sums up the environmental profile of a given power station in a standardized and objective way.
The EPD process is performed according to criteria specified in ISO standard 14025 Environmental Labels and Declarations Type III.
It is also based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) according to ISO 1440-14044.
The standardized methods assure that the user can compare thirds party verified environmental profiles.
EKOenergy is a non-profit organisation providing the only international ecolabel for electricity and gas. In addition to being 100% renewable, the energy sold with the EKOenergy label fulfils strict environmental criteria and raises funds for new renewable energy projects.
The purpose of this label is to help electricity suppliers to sell a recognizable and widely accepted electricity product whilst assisting consumers in navigating the complex European electricity market. Consumers of EKOenergy receive correct information about the origin of their electricity and about the attributes of their purchase. The EKOenergy label has resulted from a pan-European consultation process and is recognized by stakeholders in all European countries.
For each MWh of EKOenergy sold, the retailer contributes €0.10 to EKOenergy’s Climate Fund. This money is used to finance renewable energy projects tackling energy poverty. EKOenergy comes from power plants that fulfil set sustainability criteria, for example hydropower plants with a minimal negative impact on fish migration, or from wind turbines situated outside of important bird areas.
Since 1997, Green-e Energy has certified clean energy sold to consumers and businesses in North America (Canada and the U.S.) that want to reduce the environmental impact of their electricity use.
Green-e Energy is a consumer protection programme designed to provide purchasers of renewable energy good product information, assurance of product quality and verification of product ownership.
Green-e Energy certifies renewable energy that meets the highest standards: it must be:
– Generated from new facilities,
– Marketed with complete transparency and accuracy,
– Retired for the purchaser, who has sole title.
Green-e verifies the entire chain of custody of certified renewable energy from generation to retirement to ensure individuals and businesses are getting exactly what they paid for.
The programme is administered by the parent NGO, Center for Resource Solutions, a nonprofit based in San Francisco, CA.
Green-e Energy certifies many renewable energy options, including:
– Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) (also called Municipal Aggregation) programmes,
– Retail electricity products,
– Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) products,
– Utility green pricing programmes,
– REC purchases and power purchase agreements (PPAs), and
– On-site generation.
The independent Green-e Governance Board oversees frequent updates to the Green-e Energy Standards.
When a renewable energy product is sold as Green-e Energy Certified, it means that seller has a contract with Green-e Energy and agrees to abide by all Green-e Energy rules.
The seller must undergo annual verification of its renewable energy supply and sales, and ensure that the product offered was generated by resources that are eligible under the Green-e Renewable Energy Standard for Canada and the United States.
Green-e is recommended or required in leading environmental standards, such as:
– Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED),
– The Climate Registry (TCR),
– B Corporation,
– Cradle to Cradle,
– Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council,
Under current LEED green building standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, points are awarded under the Green Power credit for purchases of RECs or renewable electricity that are Green-e Energy Certified or equivalent.
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The naturemade star quality label is awarded for energy generated through particularly environmentally friendly processes. Naturemade star eco-energy comes from 100% renewable sources and the label certifies that further stringent, comprehensive environmental conditions are met.
Certification of energy generation under the naturemade star label takes the natural environment, i.e. the plant and animal species living around power plants, into account. This is especially important as the ever-increasing use of renewable sources of energy impacts on habitats and thus biodiversity.
Environmental protection and upgrades are of particular importance when using hydroelectric power, which is why hydroelectric power plants to be certified under the naturemade star scheme not only need to comply with the relevant criteria, but operators must also pay one centime per kilowatt-hour of electricity sold into an environmental improvement fund.
The Association for Environmentally Sound Energy (VUE) only certifies plants and products that comply with the naturemade criteria, which are developed in collaboration with specialist energy systems associations, environmental organisations, and producers and suppliers of energy products.
The ok-power label is awarded to high-quality eco-electricity products that make a useful contribution to energy transition. In choosing an ok-power certified product, electricity customers thereby have the transparency and security of choosing an electricity product that leads to an actual environmental benefit.
ok-power is awarded by the non-profit association EnergieVision e.V., which is borne by Öko-Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology) and the Consumer Association of North Rhine-Westphalia (Verbraucherzentrale Nordrhein-Westfalen).
The criteria are developed by an advisory board established for this purpose, which is made up of experts on energy and climate protection.
To meet the criteria of the ok-power label, the eco-electricity products must fulfil several conditions including the delivery 100% electricity produced from renewable energy sources and further project promotion. Furthermore, the electricity providers applying to use of the label must meet select criteria such as having no stake in the operation of nuclear or lignite power plants.
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TÜV SÜD is a global technical services provider with long-standing international experience in the field of energy certification.
The TÜV SÜD Generation EE label certifies electricity produced from renewable resources where generation can be attributed to a clearly identifiable source.
The TÜV SÜD Generation EE standard comprises ‘general requirements’ concerning the organization to be certified, ‘special requirements’ addressing the generation and the recording of the generation of the individual plants, and ‘optional requirements’ defined for electrical work and power guarantees.
The certification of the Generation EE+ module (work and power guarantees) can only be provided for a pool of plants. The certified pool of power stations enables the organization to be certified to guarantee the power purchaser that the pool of plants is able to produce the requested load profile at any time.
Compliance with the Generation EE+ module is particularly suitable for green power products certified in accordance with the TÜV SÜD standard “product EE02” (certification of electricity products from renewable sources with simultaneous supply).