Secretariat: Regional GOs Scheme Could Drive Balkans’ Energy Transition
Date: March 17th 2021
Author: Tanja Srnovršnik
A regional scheme for renewable energy guarantees of origin (GOs) could accelerate the uptake of trade in GOs in the Energy Community countries, whilst also helping to drive the energy transition in the region, said the Energy Community Secretariat on Wednesday.According to the Secretariat, GOs, which certify the production of energy from renewable sources, “could serve as an important tool to boost investment in renewables and drive the energy transition” in the Energy Community countries.
GOs can also be of great value to regional governments as they could “help decrease the costs for support schemes over time.”
The Secretariat also noted that “corporate demand for GOs – as documentation for renewable energy consumption and production – has grown rapidly at the global level.”
“With 317 TWh/yr, RE100 member companies are already driving enough renewable electricity demand to power a medium-sized country,” said the Secretariat, adding that corporations “might direct their investments solely to countries that have established green electricity certification systems.”
GOs can also “help companies to attract customers and investors. Furthermore, GOs could give companies an advantage when joining trading networks. Trading platforms make it attractive for companies to use GOs since they provide information about the market and its market players,” added the Secretariat.
Only Serbia a full member of AIB
However, despite all the advantages of using GOs, the Energy Community contracting parties are still “lagging behind in the establishment of the electronic system needed to issue and trade guarantees of origin, despite being mandatory under the renewable energy directive,” said the Secretariat.
Serbia is the only country that currently has an electronic mechanism for the issuing, transfer and cancellation of GOs and is also a full member in the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB).
Montenegro is also “well underway in the AIB membership application process,” mentioned the Secretariat. However, the country has an Excel-based system for the issuing, transfer and cancellation of GOs rather than an electronic system.
GOs are also issued in Albania, however, the system is not electronic. The register of GOs is public and available on the webpage of the country’s energy regulator, ERE.
In Republika Srpska, an Excel-based system for GOs has been implemented, however, to date there has not been any demand for the issuing of GOs, said the Secretariat.
GOs are issued, although the systems are not electronic or publicly available, in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Other Energy Community countries do not yet have any GOs systems in place, according to the Secretariat’s discussion paper on the implementation of the GOs system.
Call for expression of interest in regional scheme
In the paper, the Secretariat advocates for the establishment of “an efficient regional renewable energy certification system.”
“An Energy Community stepwise approach would entail the establishment of a regional scheme and registry followed by the preparation and harmonisation of disclosure legislation and domain protocols prior to joining the AIB,” explained the Secretariat.
“This regional approach would have multiple advantages, such as accelerating the process, saving costs, enabling trading among the contracting parties and a strong contracting parties’ voice in the AIB, facilitating the connection to the AIB hub while also gaining political support for a regional agreement if needed,” noted the Secretariat.
The Secretariat added that the contracting parties could also receive anI ‘’import-only’ status in the AIB until the required quality checks have taken place.
“Through this, the contracting parties could already trade among themselves and import certificates from other AIB members,” it noted.
The Secretariat invited the issuing bodies to confirm their interest in writing in participating in the establishment of a regional scheme for GOs no later than 11 April 2021.
The discussion paper also points to potential restrictions in the recognition of GOs between the EU member states and the contracting parties, which should be addressed in the ongoing revision of the renewable energy directive in the EU.
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