German energy exchange to trade guatantees of origins for renewable

GERMANY: Energy trading exchange EEX will be the first energy exchange in Europe to trade in guarantees of origin (GOOs) for wind energy and other renewables next year.

EEX plans to trade GOOs separately for wind, hydro and solar electricity generated in the north-west European region including Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, and for wind and hydro electricity in the Scandinavian region.

The exact date for the launch of the products is not yet confirmed.

GOOs were introduced by the European Commission in its 2009 Renewable Energy Directive to prove to customers that a given amount of electricity sold to them as green was actually produced from renewable energy sources.

They are different from green certificates, such as the UK's renewable obligation certificates (ROC), in that green certificates are only used in specific national or regional renewables support schemes and sometimes apply to renewables power combined with a small percentage of non-renewables power such as environmentally friendly cogenerated electricity in fossil-fired power stations. Trading of GOOs does not take place as part of a support scheme.

Sandra Lenz, head of trading at renewable electricity trading firm Grundgruen Energie, said: "This is a first step towards getting a value for the green quality of electricity in Germany. At the moment there is no method or mechanism for this."

GOOs are already broker traded or bought and sold directly between companies. "We already have a broker doing daily auctions and very often there is no activity, so we don't think another platform has much of a future in the short term," a spokesperson for electricity trader Statkraft Markets said.

However, in the longer term, GOOs could provide an option for marketing wind power outside feed-in tariff systems as in Germany or outside quota systems as in the UK. Lenz pointed out that in around five years, a large number of Germany's wind farms will no longer be eligible for the higher feed-in tariff rate of around EUR0.09/kWh, and will drop to a level of less than EUR0.05/kWh.

Austria's energy exchange EXAA is also planning to start GOO trading within the next few months.