Back 13.12.2011

Know your electricity

A growing number of consumers – companies and households – wants to know more about the sustainability aspects of electricity. Guarantees of Origin offer a tradable, transparent and reliable tool to track electricity production from power source to the consumers, says Gaia’s report for Nordic Working Group for Renewable Energy.

One of the key findings of Gaia’s new report was that the market for sustainable electricity is already very active in Europe. The Nordic countries have a cleaner electricity production system than the European average. However, a substantial portion of the Nordic renewables is sold to Central Europe. In return, the consumers purchasing unlabelled electricity in the Nordic countries get back the residual European mix, coal, gas, and nuclear. Guarantees of Origin is now becoming an effective marketing tool for electricity producers, suppliers and end users, concludes the report.

“European demand for sustainable solutions is growing strongly. For consumers, the importance of knowing what you are buying is becoming more important all the time. Right now many companies are uncertain on the true impacts of their action. Appropriate use of Guarantees of Origin or qualified eco-labels will go a long way in reducing that uncertainty”, says Pasi Rinne, Chairman of the Board of Gaia.

The broader adoption of carbon compensation is one factor which is likely to influence the development of a market for eco-labeled energy or the use of Guarantees of Origin. Some companies use them in carbon footprint calculations and for the reduction of their carbon footprint of operations and products. This information is often used in official sustainability reporting.

Nordic countries are in the forefront of issuing and trading Guarantees of Origin. About 80% of Guarantees of Origin issued in Europe originated from the Nordic countries. However, different Nordic countries apply the related reporting rules slightly differently, and this can lead to mismatches in the residual calculations. Therefore, there is further need to harmonize the rules on the Nordic level to ensure the proper functioning of the Guarantees of Origins system in all circumstances, indicates the report.

The Nordic Working Group for Renewable Energy has the task of assisting and supporting the work of the Nordic countries in the area of renewable energy through the exchange of information and the development and implementation of cooperation projects.

Guarantees of origin and eco-labeling of electricity in the Nordic countries

For further information:

  • Gaia / Pasi Rinne, Chairman of the Board, Gaia Group, tel. +41 79 472 6909,
  • Gaia / Iivo Vehviläinen, Leading Consultant, tel. +358 50 050 345 3705,