Kyoto Protocol

In December 1997 the Conference held in Kyoto, Japan agreed the text of what is now called the Kyoto Protocol.

It stipulated explicit and quantitative targets for countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the period of 2008 to 2012 when compared to 1990 levels.

The Kyoto Protocol imposed legally binding emissions objectives on nations and allowed their national commitments to be met through mechanisms such as emissions trading. This could be achieved by trading emissions credits and were represented in the form of green certificates, emission reduction certificates and forms of renewable obligation certificates.

Mechanisms such as Joint Implementation (JI) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) could also be used to reduce the costs associated with compliance.


Paris Agreement

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement were negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) whose objective it is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.

The overall objective of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue causes which limit temperature increases even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Participating Government’s agreed:
– Meet every 5 years to set more ambitious targets as required by science
– Report on how well they are doing to implement their targets;
– Track progress towards the long-term goal through a robust transparency and accountability system.

Further Reading:
http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9485.php


Renewable Energy Targets - Interactive

Over 60 countries worldwide have established renewable energy policies and targets in relation to electricity. Those targets typically form part of a Government’s legislation which requires that electricity suppliers source specific proportions of their total electricity sales from renewable energy sources, within a given time frame.

The purpose of such schemes is to promote renewable energy and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. As the cost of renewable power production becomes cheaper than those from using alternative sources, meeting and exceeding a renewable energy target will in turn reduce the cost of electricity to consumers.

Renewable electricity can be produced by a wide variety of sources including wind, solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal, and biomass. By diversifying the renewable generation mix in order to meet energy needs, the EU lowers its dependence on imported fossil fuels and makes its energy production more sustainable.

In Europe, all countries have adopted national renewable energy action plans to demonstrate the actions which they intend to take in order to meet their renewables targets by 2020.

Countries within the EU have set their own individual renewable energy targets which range from 10% consumption in Malta to 49% consumption in Sweden. Furthermore, there is a requirement for each nation to have at least 10% of its transport fuel sourced from renewables by 2020.

In Europe, 28 European Union member states have set legally binding renewable energy targets. The EU has a baseline target of 20% by 2020.

However, on 30 November 2016, the European Commission published a proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directive to signal the intention to make the EU a global leader in renewable energy and ensure that a 2030 target is met. This would see a new renewable energy target of at
least 27% of final energy consumption in the EU as a whole by 2030.

Renewable Energy Investment - Interactive

RE-DISS PROJECT

The RE-DISS project aimed to improve the reliability and accuracy of the information given to consumers of electricity in Europe. This was done through documenting the origin of the electricity which is consumed.

This information is ultimately given to all consumers through the regime disclosure, which is a requirement on all European suppliers of electricity.

The first phase of the RE-DISS project was launched in 2010 and resulted in recommendations on how to implement and correctly administer guarantees of origin as the mechanism of disclosure. Guarantees of Origin (GOs) were created by the RES Directive and the Cogeneration Directive.

RE-DISS II saw the introduction of the annual electricity residual mix and subsequent calculation methodology, which is to be used in all European countries where the origin of consumed electricity is unknown through disclosure. It also saw the development of best practice recommendations towards the Competent Bodies that regulate disclosure systems, and saw the development of country profiles for the EU28+CH+IS+NO nations. These described the respective national systems for guarantees of origin.

The overall objectives of RE-DISS were to:

– Support Competent Bodies in improving their GO and disclosure systems,

– Allow for a coordinated operation of tracking and disclosure policies by providing centrally processed data to Competent Bodies and market actors,

– Monitor the implementation of policies related to tracking of electricity as imposed by EU Directives,

– Develop methods, processes and governance structures needed for central coordination of a European Tracking System,

– Develop recommendations and guidelines both to Competent Bodies and to other stakeholders helping to improve the informative value of disclosure for end consumers.

Further Reading:
http://www.reliable-disclosure.org/

GHG Protocol

GHG Protocol establishes comprehensive global standardized frameworks to measure and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from private and public sector operations, value chains and mitigation actions.

Further Reading:
http://www.ghgprotocol.org/scope_2_guidance

FUEL MIX DISCLOSURE

An electricity fuel mix considers the volumes consumed within a period of time and the volume of certificates that are presented to evidence this consumption to a specific fuel source.

In Europe, the most common approach is for the consumed volume of year X to be documented in origin with GOs cancelled up until the end of March year X+1. However, there are several variations.

The Netherlands are able to cancel GOs until the end of December year x+1 for year X consumption whilst Luxembourg has a deadline of May 15th in year X+1 for volumes consumed in calendar year X. Great Britain uses the 12-month period between 1st April until 31st March. Suppliers must then disclose this by 1st October.

The European Guarantee of Origin (GO) system has enabled accountable interchange of electricity attributes between national markets. The EU GO system is a standardized system and includes 21 European members.

EECS member states are able to trade their GOs openly and they can be used for disclosure purposes within the associated disclosure period. However, this means that differences arise between the generation mix of a nation and its fuel mix disclosure.

Where GOs are not presented to document consumption the volume in question is subject to the residual mix calculations of the AIB.

The AIB explain that “A residual mix is needed for reliable disclosure of electricity consumption where Guarantees of Origin (or in some cases other legally accepted tracking instruments) are not used. Due to the international nature of both the power market and the Guarantee of Origin (GO) market, centrally calculated residual mixes and the European Attribute Mix is needed. Energy authorities use the results of the calculation either directly or to calculate the residual mix for their respective country using national rules“.

Further Reading:
https://www.aib-net.org/documents/103816/176792/AIB_2016_Residual_Mix_Results.pdf/6b49295b-ad99-a189-579e-877449778f62

ISO 14064

ISO 14064-1:2006 specifies principles and requirements at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals. It includes requirements for the design, development, management, reporting and verification of an organization’s GHG inventory.

ISO launched the development of ISO 14064 in 2002 as a solution to the problems posed by the fact that governments,

business corporations and voluntary initiatives were using a number of approaches to account for organization- and project-level GHG emissions and removals with no generally accepted validation or verification protocols.

Further Reading:

The Climate Group

RE100 was launched in New York in 2014 and since then has grown on a global scale. The initiative is committed to seeing to its members use 100% renewable electricity and therefore increase the global demand of renewable power.

Companies which join the initiative are strongly encouraged to set public goals in their drive to source renewable power for their consumption.

The initiative is driven by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

Further Reading:
http://there100.org/

The Climate Group’s global EP100 initiative in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy aims to bring together energy-smart companies that are committed to:

  • Using energy more productively,
  • Lowering greenhouse gas emissions
  • Accelerating a clean economy.

Further reading

EV100 is a global initiative bringing together forward looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and making electric transport the new normal by 2030.

The transport sector is the fastest-growing contributor to climate change, accounting for 23% of global energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Electric transport offers a major solution in cutting millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, as well as curbing transport related air and noise pollution.

Further reading

 

UK FIT/CFD Exemptions

There is demand for Guarantees of Origin certificates in the UK from generators which meet certain criteria.

If correctly administered, a licensed electricity supplier is able to reduce their market share contribution within the Feed in Tariff and/or Contract for Difference levelisation process.