Alejo Etchart Ortiz
Sales of Spanish RES-E
certificates in the EU
This report analyses the two main RES-E (electricity generated from renewable sources) support schemes
in the EU-27: FITs and QOs; and two kinds of certificates in the market: official GoOs and private initiative
RECs. Country’s RES-E profiles (support schemes, official prices and legislation) are provided with in
Annex I. The report gathers a summary of supporting prices. Twelve Spanish companies are active in the
private market, in spite of Spanish competent GoOs issuing body (CNE) reluctance to support the EU-wide
harmonised scheme promoted by RECS International. GoOs may be traded between companies in all
MSs, but the current EU Directive and MSs National policies prevent foreign GoOs and RECs from being
eligible for national support schemes. The prices of these operations are therefore very low. Interviews
with brokering companies are recommended to enter the market.
Once electricity feeds-in the conventional national grids, distinction between generation sources
is no further possible (CNE 2009a). The benefits of generating electricity from renewable
sources are separated from the commodity electricity at the point of power generation. Thus the
generator sells two separate products: electricity and certificates (Figure 1). The certificates can
be transferred to any other party without being constrained by the electricity system. Transfers
of certificates can even take place between different continents, e.g. North America and Europe
Figure 1- Separate markets for electricity generated from renewable energy sources (Osterkorn and Lemaire,
This report has been requested by intends to analyse the background for selling in Europe
Spanich RES-E certificates. Chapter 2 introduces the national support schemes used in the EU-
27 and the Member States performances in order to meet their targets. Chapter 3 deals with the
different certificates supporting the benefits linked to the production of RES-E, introducing the
RECs system (section 3.2) as complementary to official Guarantees or Origin (3.1). Chapter 4
summarizes the relevant aspects of the European Directive on the promotion of renewable
energy. Chapter 5 disserts about the Spanish case and obstacles found for coordination of
Guarantees of Origin and private initiatives. Chapter 6 refers the preferential technologies for
each Member State (6.1), the official prices paid for each technology (6.2) and some figures for
the certificates EU-27 market (6.3). Final conclusions are gathered in chapter 7. Annex I gives
further detail for the supporting schemes, prices, legislation and information sources.
2 RE support systems in EU-27
The country files (EREF 2009) gathered in Annex I provide with updated info about the different
renewable energy-based electricity (RES-E) generation support systems in the EU-27. The two
main supporting systems used are the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) and the Quota Obligations (QOs).
Following the files in Annex I, FITs are used as the main support scheme in most of the EU-27
countries, with the exceptions of the countries whose main support scheme is QOs: Belgium,
Italy (uses both QOs and FITs), Poland, Romania, Sweden and UK (some FITs are expected to
enter into force in the UK by April 2010). Malta has no metering system. In any case, all single
support schemes in the EU-27 are different from each other.
Countries not always stick to a single support scheme, and in some cases they have changed it
over time. Figure 2 shows the evolution of support schemes up to 2006. There where a
contradiction exists between this figure and the info provided in Annex I, the latter is more
updated and apparently more reliable.
FITs Quota/ TGC Tender Tax incentives/ investment grants
Change of the system Adaptation of the system
Country codes: AT- Austria, BE- Belgium, CY- Chipre, CZ- Czech Republic, DK- Denmark, EE- Estonia, ES- Spain, FR-
France, BG- Bulgaria, DE- Germany, GR- Greece, HU- Hungary, IE- Ireland, IT- Italy, FI- Finland, LT- Lithuania, LU-
Luxemburg, LV- Latvia, MT- Malta, PT- Portugal, NL- Netherlands, SE- Sweden, SI- Slovenia, SK- Slovak Republic,
RO- Romania, PL- Poland, UK- United Kngdom
Figure 2- Evolution of support schemes in EU-27 up to 2006 (Intelligent Energy Europe 2007)
Figure 3 shows the performance of each country by 2007 compared with their target. These
targets were set by the EU (EP 2009) in 2008 under the commitment to reduce their shared
emissions by at least 20% in 2020 compared with 1990. National targets could be increased if
the EU’s global target was scaled up to 30%, as pledged by the EU if other developed parties in
the UNFCCC make comparable efforts (UNFCCC 2010) , which does not seem to be probable.
Figure 3- Renewables targets (renewable energy as a percentage of total energy demand) (Tindale 2009)
In a shorter term, 2010 is the deadline for the indicative targets set by the EU ‘Directive
2001/77/EC on the share of electricity from renewable energy sources’ and their further
amendments (Eur Lex 2010). Figure 4 shows the national performances by 2007.
Figure 4- Share of electricity generated renewably (as a percentage of total electricity) (Tindale 2009)
Following sections summarize Leonardo Energy’s (LE 2009) overview of both FITs and
Premiums on the one side, and GoOs on the other, as supporting mechanisms for the
promotion of renewably generated electricity.
2.1 Feed-in tariffs (FITs) and Premiums
FITs and Premiums are granted to operators of eligible domestic renewable electricity plants for
the electricity they feed into the grid. FITs take the form of a total price per unit, while Premiums
(bonuses) are paid to the producer on top of the electricity market price. Premiums introduce
competition between producers in the electricity market. FITs are normally guaranteed for a
period of 10-20 years. The tariff often declines over time, following expected RE cost
reductions. Both FITs and Premiums can be structured to encourage specific technology
promotions and cost reductions (ibid.).
Even though the majority of the EU-27 countries apply FITs systems as their main support
scheme, they differ significantly between each other because many of design concepts are
used: application of different tariff levels, whether or not a purchase obligation exists, and the
use of different concepts to account for different generation costs within one technology (such
as stepped tariff designs) (ibid.) (see Annex I). A feed-in cooperation exists between Germany,
Spain and Slovenia (FIC, undated), aiming to support the promotion of RE in countries applying
a FIT system for this purpose (Intelligent Energy Europe 2007). An outstanding collection of
articles regarding FITs can be read in Wind Works (2010)
Pros and cons
The system is well-known for its success in deploying large amounts of wind, biomass and solar
energy in Germany, Denmark and Spain among others. The biggest advantage of these
systems is the longer-term certainty about receiving support, thus lowering investment risks
considerably. Another key advantage is the possibility of technology-specific support, which
leads to a relatively broad technology portfolio at low windfall profits for low-cost technologies.
The biggest contra is that, by setting the price but not the quantity, it is not entirely certain how
much renewable electricity will be generated (LE 2009).
2.2 Quota obligations (QOs)
QOs are a relatively new system, where minimum shares of electricity generated from
renewable sources are imposed on customers, suppliers or producers. They are also called
renewable obligations. The system is often combined with Guarantees of Origin (GoOs),
although this does not necessarily needs to be the case. The actual design of obligation
systems varies considerably among countries. In a quota system, one should strive for a
sufficiently liquid and competitive GoOs market in order to secure a functioning market.
Furthermore, the penalty for non-compliance needs to be set correctly, i.e. significantly higher
than the marginal production costs at quota level. If this is not the case and the penalty is lower
than the marginal costs, plants with generation costs higher than the penalty will not be built.
Instead, electricity producers prefer to pay the penalty, resulting in limited effectiveness of the
QOs system. Other features that may affect this effectiveness are the availability of long-term
contracts and the option of banking or borrowing. Additional support has to follow the quota
system in order to support less mature technologies, unless the system is designed to support
different types of technologies by using separate quotas for each, for example (ibid.).
Pros and cons
QOs schemes are, in theory, a cost-efficient instrument to deploy RE-based electricity. This is
specially true if certain conditions in the market for green certificates are met (wide markets,
liquidity, etc.) Because of the higher risk profile this system is however more expensive than the
FIT system (ibid.).
3 Guarantees of origin (GoOs) and Renewable energy
The only difference between GoOs and RECs approaches is that the former have a legal status
based on a EU Directive, while the latter were set through private initiative (Montoya 2008). Life
cycles of GoOs and RECs are similar (Figure 5). Onward in this document, the word
‘certificates’ will refer indistinctly GoOs and RECs.
Figure 5- Life cycle of a Green Certificates. IB: issuing body. (Osterkorn and Lemaire, undated)
Certificates usually exist as electronic records in a database. The value of a certificate is
removed from the market when the corresponding amount of electricity is delivered to final
consumer. Until then, it can be traded between parties just like any other good (Oeko, undated).
Each certificate represents the value of having created 1 MWh from renewable sources.
QOs involve an extra incentive to import certificates, but countries and companies in countries
under FITs may also buy also buy them in a voluntary basis. Kautto (2005) identifies QOs with
GoOs. Leonardo Energy (2009) does not identify them, but says that QOs are usually coupled
with GoOs; with some exception like the Netherlands, where incentives to TGCs are related with
a tax exemption. Electricity suppliers prove that they reach their obligation by buying these
TGCs or they pay a penalty to the government.
The European Commission allocates shares of renewably generated electricity to Member
States (MSs). It also favours the trade of certificates at country level or by companies, within a
European market for certificates. A Spanish electricity producer can sell his GoOs to other MSs
or companies, renouncing to the corresponding national support (in the Spanish case, to the
corresponding FIT or the Premium) (Sáenz de Miera 2008).
This section deals with the RECs as promoted by the company RECS International, as proofs
that 1MWh of electricity each has been generated from qualified renewable resources (RECS
As these EU GoOs systems are not fully compatible with each other, RECS Intl. promotes a
harmonized pan-European system. By end of 2008 RECS Intl. standards existed in 18 EU
countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy,
Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United
Kingdom), plus Canada, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland and Turkey and USA. In all cases,
national GoOs are used as quality standard (ibid.). Table 1 shows further detail.
Table 1- RECS International participants, as per end 2008 (RECS Intl. 2009)
Figure 6 shows the evolution of the RECS International activity.
Figure 6-Total issued and cancelled per year (in TWh) (RECS Intl. 2009)
The Association of issuing Bodies (AIB) is the leading enabler of international energy certificate
schemes. The concept was developed during RECS test phase (1999-2002). The AIB was
officially created in 2002, with the aim of operating a pan-European system for administering
trade in energy certificates (AIB 2010a). Such certificates may be used to enable consumer
choice, and their use can also be a condition of financial support being made available by
government or private bodies. Where certificates are passed between different governmental or
commercial regimes, these regimes must be harmonised if the information they carry is to be
accurate and reliable. The AIB has developed -and acts of guarantor of- such a harmonised
system, the European Energy Certification System (EECS). EECS offers a set of agreed
standards, known as the Principles and Rules of Operation (PRO) which ensure that the
systems of its member organisations are compatible with each other. The operation of the PRO
is administered for each regime by an Issuing Body which is unique to that regime, and is
independent of certificate holders (AIB 2010b).
Within the European Union, 14 countries are now active AIB members -plus Switzerland and
Norway: most offer RECs certificates, and 10 currently offer internationally transferable
renewable energy GoOs (as required by the EU Renewables Directive). By the end of 2009,
more than 715 million 1MWh certificates have been issued, of which 430 million had been used
to guarantee the origin of electricity. The number increases almost every year, and to date 174
million certificates have been issued for electricity produced during 2009, and 151 million
certificates have been cancelled (AIB 2010e). Figure 7 and Figure 8 below illustrate the
evolution of AIB activity.
Figure 7- Evolution of certificates issued by Figure 8- Evolution of certificates issued by AIB,
AIB, exports. (AIB 2010e) imports. (AIB 2010e)
RECS Intl.’s (confidential) confirms by email on 18 February 2010 that AIB is a purely private
initiative formed by the groups interested in having a harmonised EU-27 certificates system.
Nevertheless, the companies they nominate in each MS for issuing the REC certificates are
frequently coincident with the ones designated by national authorities to issue the official GoOs,
which gives them a sense or officiality. This coincidence does not occur in Spain, where the
CNE issues the GoOs and GCC issues the RECs. Table 2 shows the AIB designated for each
country. The yellow background indicates those countries where the RECs issuer is also the
COUNTRY & CONTACT
COMPANY EMAIL TEL.
(RECs and CONTROL +43.124724707
(Brussels) BRUGEL firstname.lastname@example.org +32.25630202
(Flanders) VREG email@example.com +32.25531359
(Wallonia) Olivier Squilbin CWAPE firstname.lastname@example.org +32.81330810
(RECs and email@example.com +45.76224439
(RECs and GREXEL firstname.lastname@example.org +35.8942413161
Diane Lescot observ'ER +33.144180080
Christof Timpe OEKO email@example.com +49.7614529525
Ed Everson GCC +44.7918695071
ITALY (RECs) GSE firstname.lastname@example.org
(RECs and Camille Hierzig ILR email@example.com +352.45884529
NETHERLANDS Gineke van CertiQ firstname.lastname@example.org +31.263731462
(RECs, GoOs Dijk
(RECs and STARNETT email@example.com +47.22527573
GoOs) Tor B. Heiberg
Pedro Cabral REN firstname.lastname@example.org +351.220012416
(RECs and Ervin Sersen Energy email@example.com +386.22340300
SPAIN (RECs) Ed Everson GCC +44.7918695071
Disclosure GREXEL firstname.lastname@example.org +358.942413161
Lukas Groebke Swissgrid email@example.com +41.585802138
Table 2- Current list of RECs issuing bodies per country (AIB 2010d)
Following (confidential), even though the sole purpose of certificates is to disclose the electricity
source, a growing numer of customers are willing to pay more for electricity generated from
renewable sources. The GoOs from Sweden (Elcerts), UK (ROCs), Belgium (Groene certificaat)
and Italy (Certificati Verdi) achieve the highest prices because they are linked to a QO system
and are bound to national production (they cannot be traded between countries). He reflects the
contradiction between the RES-E Directive, calling all countries to accept foreign EU-27
certificates, and the fact that some countries only accept them when they are standardised by
RECS Intl. and the AIB will host the ‘2nd REXchange meeting in Barcelona in April 2010’
(REXchange 2010)’. Further info about RECS International can be found in www.recs.org.
4 EU Legislation
The ‘Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 April 2009 on
the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources’ (EP 2009) (RES Directive) says to
set a common framework for the promotion of energy from renewable sources. It gives
mandatory national targets for the overall share of energy from renewable sources in gross final
consumption of energy and for the share of energy from renewable sources in transport; lays
down rules relating to statistical transfers between MSs, joint projects between MSs and with
third countries, guarantees of origin, administrative procedures, information and training, and
access to the electricity grid for energy from renewable sources; and establishes sustainability
criteria for biofuels and bioliquids.
A GoO can be transferred, independently of the energy to which it relates, from one holder to
another. MSs may also arrange GoOs for heating and cooling from renewable energy sources,
and says that certification schemes must be available by end 2012 for installers of small-scale
biomass boilers and stoves, solar PV and solar thermal systems, shallow geothermal systems
and heat pumps.
The Directive states clearly that the norms set by MSs must be non-discriminatory, and that
MSs shall recognise GoOs issued by other MSs. A MS may refuse to recognise a guarantee of
origin only when it has well-founded doubts about its accuracy, reliability or veracity. The MS
shall notify the Commission of such a refusal and its justification. If the Commission finds that a
refusal to recognise a guarantee of origin is unfounded, the Commission may adopt a decision
requiring the MS in question to recognise it. It also says that “to create opportunities for
reducing the cost of achieving the targets laid down in this Directive, it is appropriate both to
facilitate the consumption in Member States of energy produced from renewable sources in
other Member States, and to enable Member States to count energy from renewable sources
consumed in other Member States towards their own national targets. For this reason, flexibility
measures are required, but they remain under Member States’ control in order not to affect their
ability to reach their national targets. Those flexibility measures take the form of statistical
transfers, joint projects between Member States or joint support schemes”. Articles 6, 7, 8 and
11 describe different cooperation mechanisms between MSs.
GoOs, as defined by the Directive, have the sole function of proving to a final customer that a
given share or quantity of energy was produced from renewable sources. They must be used
within 12 months of the production of the corresponding energy unit.
Double counting and double disclosure of guarantees of origin must be avoided. Energy from
renewable sources in relation to which the accompanying GoO has been sold separately by the
producer cannot be disclosed or sold to the final customer as energy from renewable sources.
5 The Spanish case
In 2008, Spanish electricity demand was met with electricity generated in coal thermal power
stations (16%), combined cycle power plants (30%), fuel or gas power stations (3%), nuclear
plants (19%), CHP installations (8%) and renewable sources (22%) (CNE 2009a). In 2009,
according to the CNE, Spain increased the share of RES-E up to 29.87%, with wind accounting
for 13.38%, hydraulic (large and mini) for 10.70%, PV for 2.16%, wastes for 1.35%, biomass for
1.03% and solar-thermal for 0.03% (Revolución Energética 2010). Therefore, the target share of
29.4% end 2010 set by the Directive (CNE 2009b) will very probably be met.
Spanish ‘Orden Ministerial ITC 1522/2007’ lays down a mechanism of account entries in CNE’s
website, through which those who have generated electricity from renewable sources or
cogeneration plants may request the corresponding GoOs. The CNE checks the conformity with
previous authorizations before issuing a GoO. Generators may request the transfer of their
GoOs to electricity retailers, who can cancel them when the electricity is provided to final
consumers. All this process is supervised by the CNE (2009a). Instructions for Spanish GoOs
are available through CNE (2008). In 2008, only 0.7% of Spanish GoOs were exported (Díaz de
la Cruz 2009)
The CNE summarizes the Guarantees of Origin issued in Spain in 2008 (Table 3). Info for 2009
is not available yet, since the closing date for energy generated in 2009 was 31/01/2010.
Several other reports for historic issuances are available in CNE (2009c).
Table 3- Summary of Guarantees of Origin issued in 2008 (CNE 2009c)
As per private RECs, Green Certificates Company (GCC) replaced Red Electrica de España as
the issuer of RECs for Spain in 2008. Spanish activity ceased during 2008, but with the
appointment of GCC as issuing body and the acceptance of GCC as a member of AIB, market
activity was expected to resume (AIB 2009). The issuing procedure by GCC is simple and
similar to GoOs. Full details for issuing and transferring are available at GCC (2008).
The Spanish members of RECS International are Cilniana Import S.L, E.On Generación,
Endesa Generación S.A., gasNatural SDG, S.A., Hispaelec Energía S.A.U., Iberdrola
Generación S.A.U., Invulnerables S.L., Lyssetrade S.L., Tecnicas De Aprovechamiento de la
Radiacion Solar S.L. and Tu Stock en el Mundo S.L. Iberdrola was the first Spanish company
who sold RECs in 2003 (Geoscopio 2003). Endesa is a founding member since its formal
creation in December 2002 (Highbeam 2003).
The coordination between GCC and CNE was investigated by telephone and emails. CNE’s
(confidential) was helpful by phone (confidential) for the purpose of starting this research, but he
submitted it to the appropriate department for deepening on the issue. Nevertheless, he
advanced that he had not heard about GCC or RECS International, and that the money from
GoOs exports had to be reinvested on specific areas. CNE’s GoOs’ department staff was
reluctant to speak about the issue and rejected to give the name of the responsible person for
that potential coordination. By unsigned email from firstname.lastname@example.org dated 29
January, they answered that specific reinvestment is not compulsory for the exports of GoOs,
but it is for the expedition; and that the CNE has no relation either with GCC or the AIB, as “that
is a private issue”.
(Confidential) comments CNE’s permanent refusal to participate in conversations and meetings
with RECS Intl. (telephone, 2 of February). A similar attitude exists from Portugal, UK and
other countries, remarkably France, in contrast with the keen attitude shown by Northern
European official GoOs issuing bodies. In his opinion, coincident with Sáenz de Miera’s (2008),
the Directive boosts a homogeneous European market for certificates, but some governments’
attitude is not consistent with that purpose. He said that, nevertheless, Spanish companies were
very active in 2009. He affirmed that the only way to prevent double counting was to trust on
applying company’s honesty.
(Confidential), +44.7918695071) comments by phone that the way to prevent double counting is
that it is explicitly forbidden in the contract signed by the customer, and by the on-line checking
they do prior to issuing the corresponding RECs –this is not necessarily contradictory with
(confidential)’s words. (Confidential) says that the 2009 activity report will only be available by
April 2010, but advanced that Unión Fenosa had started exporting RECs in 2009. The other
members listed above remain, but the only active ones in 2009 were Iberdrola Generación,
Endesa, Lyssetrade and Invulnerables. Altogether –he said- certificates issued in 2009
accounted for 765,000 MWh. By telephone conversation on 19 of February 2010,
(Confidential) showed his surprise that no Spanish company had exported any REC in 2010, for
reasons that remained unknown for him.
Two Spanish organizations may support companies interested in certificates trading:
- APPA: Association of RE producers, www.appa.es
- GESTERNOVA: Market dealer of RE, www.gesternova.com
6 The market for GoOs/RECs
The voluntary market for renewable electricity -approximately 120 TWh– constitutes about 25%
of total renewable electricity production in the EU (RECS Intl. 2009).
6.1 Preferential technologies
Leonardo Energy (2009) gathers the preferential technologies, and their quantity objectives, in
each of the MSs (Table 3).
Table 4- Preferential technologies by MS (Leonardo Energy 2009)
The European Renewable Energy Federation (EREF 2009) provides with complete information
on the prices paid per MWh in 2009 at EU countries-level for all RE technologies. Table 5
compiles the best five prices for each technology.
Table 5- summary of 5 best price payers in each RE source. See remarks below (pg. xxx). Self elaborated , data
from EREF (2009)
Figure 9 to Figure 16 give larger detail of these prices, with some remarks listed below Figure
Figure 9- Average prices for small hydro, 2009 (EREF 2009)
Figure 10- Average prices for biomass, 2009 (EREF 2009)
Figure 11- Average prices for wind power on-shore, 2009 (EREF 2009)
Figure 12- Average prices for wind power off-shore, 2009 (EREF 2009)
PV fully or partially integrated PV
Figure 13- Average prices for solar PV, 2009 (EREF 2009)
Big installations Medium installations Small installations
Figure 14- Average prices for solar PV depending on installation size, 2009 (EREF 2009)
Figure 15- Average prices for geothermal, 2009 (EREF 2009)
Figure 16- Average prices for wave power, 2009 (EREF 2009)
With reference to MSs having Green Certificates (GC) or Green Premiums (GP) as support
scheme, the price mentioned in the graphs refer to the total price resulting from the GC/GP
price plus electricity market price.
- Hydro: average price for both plants put into service before 31/12/2005 and plants put into
service after 31/12/2005
- Biomass/Biogas: average price for solid biomass, liquid biomass and biogas. Price for
landfill/sewage gas and other liquids have not been taken into consideration.
- Average price of Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels-Capital, plus electricity market price
- Wind offshore: taken into consideration the federal support scheme.
- Average Green Premiums prices and average electricity market price for the first semester
2009 (54.87 €/MWh).
- Wind: price for 22.000 full load hours for turbines connected to the grid after February 2008
- Biomass: average price relating to biomass and biogas plants connected to the grid after
- PV Average price of units connected to the grid after February 2008.
- Average market price for electricity 2008 and subsidies through energy taxation system.
- Price for overseas department has not been taken into consideration.
- Hydro: price refers to (new) installations under decree 1/03/2007. Variable bonuses for small
installations or winter production are not included.
- Wind: average price for (new) installations under decree 17/11/2008.
- Biomass: average price from biogas plants under decree 10/07/2006 and vegetable biomass;
price relating to animal residues has not been taken into consideration.
- PV: average price for units under decree 10/07/2006.
- Geothermal: price for (new) installations under decree 10/07/2006.
- Average prices under renewable energies act 2009.
- Hydro: average price relating to new plants up to 5 MW, refurbished plants up to 5 MW and
renewed plants above 5 MW.
- Wind off-shore and on-shore: initial tariff which will decrease after 5 years.
- PV: average price for the period 2009-2014.
- The price for other biogases not coming from agriculture, cattle breeding and forestry has not
- Average GC price for the first semester 2009 (82.43 €/MWh) and average electricity price for
the first semester 2009 (66.36 €/MWh).
- Average prices from the minimum and maximum prices provided by the relevant regulation.
- Average GC price for the month of June 2009 (57 €/MWh) and average electricity price for
June 2009 (37 €/MWh).
- Average GC price for the month of June 2009 (55 €/MWh) and average electricity price for
June 2009 (37 €/MWh).
- Average price of “base tariffs”.
- Prices for biogas (set in €/Nm3 expressed) have not been included. Prices for bio-electricity
from waste and water-cleaning installations have not been taken into consideration.
- Taken into consideration only prices for 2009.
- Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) figures have not been included as graphics make specific
reference to PV.
- The price relating to Green Premium includes the average electricity price for the period
January-July 2009 (39.20 €/MWh).
- Average GC price for the period January/July 2009 (60.99 €/MWh) + average electricity price
for period January/July 2009 (46.82 €/MWh).
6.3 RECs market
The Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB 2009) states that, in 2008, hydropower provided 92% of
issued certificates. On-shore wind power contributed 4%. Most cancellations (91%) are for
hydropower (and to a far lesser extent for on-shore wind) (Figure 17).
Figure 17- Certificates cancelled in 2008, per Technology (AIB 2009)
The AIB reports the European Energy Certificate System (EECS) market activity evolution
during last years. EECS is not currently an official reality, but the system that RECS Intl. and
AIB promote, combining together GoOs and RECs. Figure 18 shows a sharp market increase.
Figure 18- EECS market evolution 2001-2008 (AIB 2009)
The AIB refers the major certificates issuing countries in 2007 and 2008 (Figure 19). Norway
(NO) and Sweden (SE) are the two major both in 2007 and 2008, with large difference over
Finland (FI), Italy (IT) and the Netherlands (NL). Norway issued 63% of total in 2008. As per the
destination certificates, Norway, Italy, Germany and Flanders continued to increase their share
in cancellations, resulting on the shares in Figure 20.
IT- 3% NL- 4%
FR- 1% NL- 19%
FI- 5% Others- 1%
BE-F- 1% NO- 26%
SE-21% BE-W- 1%
Figure 19- Major issuing countries of certificates Figure 20- Major importing countries of certificates. (AIB
2008 (AIB 2009). Country codes: see footnote for 2009). Country codes: see footnote for Figure 2
AIB recently surveyed the certificates activity during 2006 and 2007 on a scheme basis. The
majority of certificates were eligible for both the GoOs and RECs schemes; while GoOs
accounted for the majority of cancellations (AIB 2009).
Price evolution for voluntary RECs and GoOs can be weekly followed-up in AIB (2010c).
(Confidential) advanced that prices currently paid for RECs are far below official FITs and
GoOs, at less than 1€/each, and that not all countries allow foreign EU-countries’ certificates to
be redeemed for FITs or QOs. He informs that Germany, Austria, Italy and others allow it.
(Confidential) (2010) is a private company specialized in green investment, intermediary
services and advisory services. His CEO and Member of the Board of Directors (confidential)
indicates by email dated 3 of February) that, even though the range of RECs prices is quite
broad, they are usually below 1€. Large-scale hydro RECS can be traded at prices ranging from
some 0.10-0.15 to 0.30€. Small-scale non-subsidised wind however might receive even closer
to 10€ in smaller deal sizes. He states that FITs schemes only prevent sales of RECS in cases
where the institution giving the subsidy requires ownership over the green value. In his opinion,
most of the buyers do not like to buy RECS from facilities that are eligible for FITs, as their view
is that the green production has already got enough support and does not need more.
RECS International’s Mr P. Niermeijer confirms (email and telephone dd. 4 of February) that
this reason, and the fact that RECs and GoOs only serve for disclosure purposes and are not
accountable for RES targets, explain why the price of RECs and GoOs is so low. He also says
that RECS International is of the opinion that they should be accountable, and they have
protested against this but without result. He adds that “nobody understands what is happening
with the GoOs’ market”, and that “clear contradictions” exist between the EU spirit of a free
internal market plus the fact that the Directive says that the norms set by MSs must be non-
discriminatory, on the one side, and the restrictions to RES-E trade, on the other. RECs Intl.
promotes a platform to overcome this contradiction. Spanish private companies may indeed sell
Spanish GoOs to any European national market, but they are not accountable for the national
RES-E target or for supporting mechanisms, unless an agreement is met through governments
(‘opt-in’ possibility, as referred in the Directive). The price that selling Spanish companies could
get are as low as reflected in AIB (2010c). Only through cooperation mechanisms at MSs’
government-level (Articles 6, 7, 8 of the Directive) may a EU-27 private company have access
to supporting mechanisms of other MSs.
Another brokering company with apparently higher presence in Spain is the Norwegian ICAP
(http://www.icapenergy.com/), who have an office in Madrid (Gerardo Saiz Martínez,
+34.914904063, email@example.com), who has not been contacted for confidentiality
Countries in the EU-27 follow two main support schemes for RES-E: FITs and QOs, which they
change over time in some cases. The concepts of FITs, QOs, GoOs and RECs are explained in
this document, along with each country’s RES-E profile (Annex I). RECs offer a private
complement to official GoOs. Spanish competent body for issuing GoOs is reluctant to support
the EU-wide harmonised scheme promoted by RECS Intl. Nevertheless, twelve Spanish
companies are active in this private market. Only through government-level may private
companies have access to other MSs’ supporting mechanisms. The selling price is otherwise
very low. Brokers seem to be the best option for entering the market.
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