European renewable power market reaching new heights

European renewable power

“The European renewable power market broke two barriers in 2018; with its supply of Guarantees of Origin nearly reaching 600 TWh – and demand surpassing 500 TWh,” said ECOHZ CEO Tom Lindberg commenting on new statistics from the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB).

Guarantees of Origin are an instrument that certifies that a certain amount of electricity was generated from renewable sources or high-efficiency cogeneration.

Its purpose is to inform consumers about the origin of the electricity they receive and the associated environmental impact, so that they may make informed decisions on their energy purchases.

Guarantees of Origin is a voluntary system that complies with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol 2 Guidance. It is an effective and recognized tool to lower GHG emissions and improve its sustainability rating.

The European renewable energy market with Guarantees of Origin continued to grow and seemed like a market more balanced and mature than earlier. The surplus gap in 2018 did not widen, and seems likely to diminish in the near future,” says Lindberg.

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

Throughout the years, the Netherlands has installed a great amount of new solar and wind capacity, increasing its capacity by 9 TW in the first half of 2019, nearly double compared with the first half of 2018.

For its part, France saw a 5 TW increase in issued volumes from the first semester of 2018 to 2019, as a result of the fact that many power plants can now issue Guarantees of Origin. The demand increased even faster and grew with 9 TWh.

Dry weather in Norway in the first half of 2019 led to lower hydro power production than normal. This again is likely to further push down Norway’s share of issued Guarantees of Origin in Europe, from a 22% share in 2018 and 27% share in 2017.

The Norwegian share of the total production mix has been declining the last year showing evidence of a more robust and diversified European market.

Wind power technology on the rise

Hydropower is still the most common technology of issued Guarantees of Origin in Europe with a supply share of 56% in 2018, compared to 64% in 2017 – but changes are occurring rapidly due to increased availability of solar and wind,” states Lindberg.

A new boost for the market

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 indicated interest in joining the AIB, and its electronic hub.

“Even more countries are likely to join the AIB in 2020 and will all-in-all likely bring more supply to the European renewable energy market. In parallel we also expect a growing demand for renewable electricity from corporations and households, pushing the market to new heights,” says Lindberg.

Guarantees of Origin

“For the sake of the
climate, I hope the renewable transition goes fast, and that we are flooded
with an abundance of renewable energy. Europe will need 500 TWh of annual
renewable power from 2020 to 2030, requiring a lot of investments and
initiatives,” Lindberg said.

The cost of renewables continues to drop in Europe, but at the same time the prevalence of national subsidy and the support schemes are on the decline,” he added. He also stated that Guarantees of Origin are ready to fill the gap for investors and, therefore, “I think higher prices will be the norm and with a price collapse, not a likely scenario.”

Increasing commitment

The corporate sector is the driving force behind renewable electricity, although homes and organizations also contribute to market growth.

A growing number of companies believes that renewables are necessary for future competitiveness, to attract customers, employees, and investors.

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

RE100 is a global initiative of over 190 influential companies committed to consuming 100% renewable electricity. Members purchase a great amount of Guarantees of Origin for their operations in Europe.

For more information, check Energía16

See also: OTEC is an “ideal” renewable source for the Maldives

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