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ECN publication
Guarantees of origin as a tool for renewable energy policy formulation
Linden, N.H. van der; Jansen, J.C.; Uyterlinde, M.A.; Bürger, V.; Rivero García, F.; Green, J.; Timpe, C.; Vrolijk, C.; White, S.; Yerro, G.P.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 1-9-2004
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--04-078 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
85 Download PDF  


The EU Directive on thepromotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market (Directive 2001/77/EC) asks Member States, among others, to issue guarantees of origin for renewable electricity on request. Member States are obliged to appoint one or more independent bodies to certify that green electricity comes from renewable energy sources. These bodies will supervise the issue of the guarantees of origin (GO). The Directive stipulates that these bodies should be in place no later than 27 October 2003.

The RE-GO project has been conducted in the framework of the EU Altener programme and aims to:

1. review the implementation and use of GO in the EU,

2. analyse the GO as a tool for renewable energy policy formulation,

3. analyse the GO as a tracking method and the problem of multiple counting.

The present report covers the second objective. The analysis presented in the report involves an identification of the potential interactions between GO and various renewable energy support policies which are currently implemented in the Member States, and an evaluation of the potential role GO can play in facilitating these policies. The analysis covers the interactions between GO and indicative targets, Tradable Renewable Electricity Certificate (TREC) systems, feed-in-tariffs, fiscal incentives, electricity labels, electricity disclosure, the Renewable Energy Certificate System (RECS) and the EU Emission Trading Scheme.

The GO implementation design varies considerably among the Member States. Some countries have implemented a GO system that does not go beyond the minimum requirements of the Directive, whilst other countries have included additional information to enable GO to facilitate national renewable energy policy mechanisms.

The report concludes that GO systems based on the minimum requirements of the EU Directive 2001/77/EC on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources, cannot be linked to national renewable energy support mechanisms, and, therefore, can easily lead to inefficiencies, in transparencies and also to multiple counting of the environmental benefits. It is recommended, therefore, to implement a GO system that goes beyond the minimum requirements so that it can be fully integrated into the national support mechanisms. In this way GO can become a key component of the national renewable energy policy. In the longer term, a fully harmonised GO system across the European Union would be advisable to avoid duplication of verification and monitoring efforts, and to effectively prevent multiple counting of environmental benefits.

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