Głowacki Law Firm

Guarantee of origin of electricity from renewable energy sources
European Union Electricity Market Glossary




Guarantees of Origin (GO) have conceptually been envisioned as tracking instruments serving as evidence that electricity has been produced either from:


- renewable sources (Directive 2009/28/EC on promotion of renewable energy sources - RES Directive) or


- high efficiency cogeneration (Cogeneration Directive 2004/8/EC and later Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2010/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC).


Under the RES Directive „renewable energy sources‟ denote renewable non-fossil energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydropower, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogases.


Pursuant to Article 3(9) of the RES Directive all European Union Member States are required to establish and maintain a Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin certification scheme.


The scheme provides an increased level of transparency to customers, allowing them to choose to purchase renewable or non-renewable electricity.


Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin appeared in the Directive 2001/77/E, which introduced a duty on all Member States to develop a reliable scheme in that regard (in practice, the detailed architecture of each Member State‟s scheme may differ).


The RES Directive clarified the purpose of Guarantees of Origin as evidence of the origin of electricity generated from renewable energy sources and specified the minimum information, which each Guarantee should contain.


The RES Directive defines the Guarantee of Origin (Article 2(j)) as:

"an electronic document which has the sole function of providing proof to a final customer that a given share or quantity of energy was produced from renewable sources as required by Article 3(6) of Directive 2003/54/EC".


The RES Directive underlines inherent differences between the so-called "green certificate" (used for support schemes) and the Guarantee of Origin (the purpose thereof is transparency and reliability of the information).


The RES Directive allows for transfers of Guarantees of Origin between Member States:

"Member States shall recognise guarantees of origin issued by other Member States in accordance with this Directive exclusively as proof of the elements referred to in paragraph 1 and paragraph 6(a) to (f). A Member State may refuse to recognise a guarantee of origin only when it has well-founded doubts about its accuracy, reliability or veracity. The Member State shall notify the Commission of such a refusal and its justification.".


However, if the European Commission finds that a refusal to recognise a guarantee of origin is unfounded, the Commission may adopt a decision requiring the Member State in question to recognise it. 






IMG 0744






RED II: Auctioning GOs for supported energy brings wider system benefits and ensures alignment with EU State Aid rules 














Last Updated on Saturday, 26 May 2018 12:10


Copyright © 2009 - 2018 Michal Glowacki. All rights reserved.
The materials contained on this website are for general information purposes only and are subject to the disclaimer