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European renewable energy market reaches new heights

“The renewable energy market in Europe broke two barriers in 2018; with a supply of Guarantees of Origin almost reaching 600 TWh, and a demand exceeding 500 TWh. This was stated by Tom Lindberg, Managing Director of ECOHZ, commenting on the new statistics of the Association of Issuing Agencies (AIB).


Guarantees of Origin (GdOs) are an instrument that accredits that an amount of electricity has been produced by renewable sources or high-efficiency cogeneration.

Its objective is to provide information to the consumer, so that he knows in detail the origin of the energy received and the associated environmental impact, so that he can make more informed decisions to purchase electricity.

The Guarantee of Origin, a voluntary system, complies with the Scope 2 Guide of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. It is an effective and recognized tool for reducing your greenhouse gas emissions and improving your sustainability rating.

“The renewable energy market with Guarantees of Origin continued to grow in Europe and appears to be a more balanced and mature market than before. The surplus gap in 2018 did not widen, and seems likely to decrease in the near future,” says Lindberg.

Comparing the supply and demand of the first half of the Guarantees of Origin for 2019 with comparable figures in 2018, shows that supply is increasing by 14 TWh, while demand grew significantly faster, with 60 TWh.


Over the years, the Netherlands has installed a large amount of new wind and solar capacity. As a result, during the first half of 2019 they recorded an increase of 9 TWh of emitted volumes. This is almost double compared to the first half of 2018.

France had an increase of 5 TWh in emitted volumes from the first half of 2018 to the first half of 2019. This has been the result of many more power plants now being able to issue Guarantees of Origin. Demand increased even faster and grew at 9 TWh.

The dry climate in Norway during the first half of 2019 led to lower than normal hydropower production. This is likely to further reduce Norway’s share of Guarantees of Origin issued in Europe. It had a 22 per cent share in 2018 and 27 per cent in 2017.

Norway’s share of the total production mix has been declining over the past year. This behaviour is evidence of a more robust and diversified European market.

Growing wind technology

“Hydropower remains the most common technology of guarantees of origin emitted in Europe with a supply share of 56% in 2018, compared to 64% in 2017. But changes are happening fast due to the increased availability of solar and wind energy,” says Lindberg.

New market momentum

AIB, the umbrella organization of national issuers of Guarantees of Origin, currently has 21 member countries. Portugal and Greece are next in line, and have shown interest in joining the AIB and its e-centre.

“It is likely that even more countries will join AIB in 2020 and generally bring more supply to the European renewable energy market. At the same time, we also expect a growing demand for renewable electricity from corporations and households, taking the market to new heights,” says Lindberg.

Guarantees of origin

“For the sake of the climate, I hope that the renewable transition will be rapid, and that we will be flooded with a great deal of renewable energy. Europe will need 500 TWh of renewable energy a year from 2020 to 2030, which will require a lot of investment and initiatives,” says Lindberg.

“The cost of renewables in Europe continues to fall, but at the same time the prevalence of national subsidies and support schemes are declining,” adds Lindberg.

He went on to point out that guarantees of origin are ready to fill the void for investors, and therefore “I believe that higher prices will be the norm, and with a collapse of prices it is not a likely scenario.

Commitment Grows

The corporate sector is the main driver of renewable electricity, although households and organisations also contribute to market growth.

A growing number of companies believe that renewable energies are necessary for future competitiveness, to attract customers, employees and investors.

Several sustainability proposals support renewable ambitions, but the most important is RE100.

The RE100 is a global initiative of more than 190 influential corporations committed to consuming 100% renewable electricity. Members purchase a large number of Warranties of Origin for their operations in Europe.

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