A joint statement sent to the European Parliament and Council by leading players in the European energy sector, and published by eurelectric, maintains that GOs are a reliable instrument to track and prove to consumers that a given share of electricity supplied to their home or business comes from renewable sources.
The signatories believe that the Clean Energy Package recently approved in the European Parliament represents an opportunity to strengthen the GO system as more countries, consumers, and electricity suppliers begin to use it. They also believe that:
Use of GOs for renewable electricity disclosure should be mandatory
All produced RES (renewable energy sources) electricity should automatically receive GOs
Mandatory auctioning of GOs for supported production should be avoided
Achieving targets for RES used in transport should not be confused with disclosing origins of the electricity mix to final customers.
“As consumers are becoming more aware of the sourcing of their energy, it is essential to have reliable disclosure system which guarantees the renewable origin of the electricity fuelled to people’s homes and businesses” said Kristian Ruby, eurelectric Secretary General.
The European Commission’s original proposal requires suppliers to use GOs to substantiate any green marketing claims. However, the signatories believe that voluntary disclosure, as proposed by the European Council, would leave the door open to alternative declaration methods, thereby making reporting to consumers and corporate purchasers potentially unreliable and misleading.
The signatories also believe that prohibiting GOs to be issued to producers which receive financial support would cloud the current distinction between support and disclosure schemes. There are several ways to address concerns regarding over-compensation. First, where financial support is granted via competitive tenders or certificate systems, these have proven to be an effective way to prevent over compensation as RES producers have to take into account the value of GOs in their bids, which in turn lowers the need for support payments. Secondly, where support levels are determined administratively, financial support mechanisms for new projects can be adjusted in a way which reflects the income derived from GOs.
Auctioning of GOs would make many Power Purchase Agreements and other commercial agreements inoperable, the signatories believe. Such commercial arrangements have had a significant impact on increasing the share of renewable electricity consumed by some of the largest commercial and industry players in Europe. GOs should remain an integral part of corporate renewable PPAs, as direct traceability of their consumed electricity is inherent to their successful business models.
The signatories of the statement are: eurelectric, Solar Power Europe, Wind Europe, AIB, RECS International, European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET), ECOHZ, RE100 and RE-Source Platform.