Frequently Asked Questions
Who are we
Question: Who is RECS International?
RECS International is a unique organization in the fact that we represent the whole production and consumption chain for renewable electricity. We are an organization of energy generators, traders, wholesalers, suppliers and consumers who remain in near constant dialogue with national and European legislative bodies as well as third-party NGOs and standard setting organizations.
We at RECS International believe that the European electricity market is not fully liberalized until every consumer is protected in the right to choose an electricity supplier and, more importantly, an electricity product! RECS feels that the best way to provide the consumer with a choice of electricity products is by using mechanisms already defined in EU legislation (2009/28/EC). By well implimenting the Guarantee of Origin we would be able to provide a proof-of-purchase for electricity products and better protect the consumer.
Question: What is RECS International's relationship with the AIB?
RECS International and the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) have no formal cooperation and are two individual and separate organizations. That being said, there are often shared goals when attempting to implement EECS systems throughout Europe. The AIB and its members have the objective of implementing the RES and IME Directives in a trustworthy, reliable and cost-effective manner. RECS International on the other hand represents market parties who strive for a open, transparent, credible and efficient marketplace.
RECS International is of the opinion that the adoption of the EECS standard by national governments will allow for the easy transfer and trade of electricity attributes Europe-wide. By standardizing national RES-Guarantee of Origins as EECS-GOs producers of renewable electricity would be better able to compete in an international market which would provide additional financing options to these national renewables producers. This can create a reliable, market-based revenue stream for renewable electricity producers and thereby increase the cost-efficiency of renewables.
Question: Where does RECS International receive its funding?
RECS International is a Dutch based non-profit organization. The organization has more than 90 members who pay an annual fee for the continuation of the activites preformed by RECS International.
If you are interested in supporting the activites of RECS International please join us.
Question: In short - what is the voluntary market?
The voluntary market is a market based on the trading of Guarantee of Origin certificates available through the European electricity tracking system. Guarantees of Origin have no inherent value but, because they are traded on an open supply and demand market, they are given a value based on the consumers willingness to purchase them. Consumers, from private individuals to multi-national corperations, buy guarantees of origin to prove the originating location of their electricity consumption. This is proven via cancellation the term used to indicate the final consumption of the certificate.
Question: Can I trade Guarantees of Origin and RECS-certificates all over Europe?
Each country is required by the European directive 2009/28/EC to set-up an organization or body capable of issuing Guarantee of Origin certificates. These Guarantees of Origin are referred to as RES-GOs and are often not easily traded to another country. The Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) solved this international transfer issue through the creation of the EECS system. Members of the AIB are required to agree upon and adopt the EECS system. Trading between AIB members and/or EECS aligned countries is simple, trustworthy and reliable whereas trading between non-AIB members can provide inconsistencies, problems and may not be possible.
The AIB now has twentythree competent bodies as members in twenty European countries. Several countries are currently awaiting approval for AIB membership. By aligning the RES-GO mandated in the 2009/28/EC directive with the AIB’s EECS standard the effectiveness of the certificate source and revenue streams are improved.
Updated August 2017, please visit AIB website for most up to date figures on members here.
Question: What is renewable electricity?
Renewable energy is considered to be an inexhaustible but not necessarily sustainable energy source. Renewable energy sources are wind energy, solar energy, hydro power, biomass, geothermal energy, wave and tidal energy. The electricity generated by means of a renewable energy source is considered renewable electricity.
Question: So are renewables always sustainable?
RECS International likes to focus on facts. Something being renewable is a fact however something being sustainable is an opinion that can change from person to person. We respect all end-users' opinions about sustainability and through the information we help to provide on the Guarantee of Origin we hope to give the consumer the tools to make the right decision for them about their electricity purchase.
The consumer should have the right to good, trustworthy and accurate information about their electricity in order to make an informed decision – that is our goal at RECS International.
Question: Is the Guarantee of Origin additional?
Additionality is a difficult subject because most energy/electricity stakeholders have not agreed upon a definition. Each organization has their own opinion about additionality and this can even change from person to person. To make things even more complicated, the way that the European 20-20-20 targets were defined makes it more difficult to define additionality than it has been in other locations with targets (like much of the United States).
A few things seem to be true about additionality:
1. The decision to build a new renewable power station is not based on any single criteria. While the funding provided is very important to the decision to build a new power station, it is not the only decision that must be made. Additionally one will never know to what degree the prices paid to the renewable producer were windfall profits (for both national subsidy schemes and Guarantee of Origin (GO) based revenue streams).
2. A Guarantee of Origin can never be considered to be a totally additional mechanism, or for that matter a not additional mechanism, as this involves a combination of factors. These factors include the price of the certificate, the revenue model for the renewable energy plant, the maintenance costs of the plant versus the revenue that was expected, and others.
3. Discussing what specific tools are additional cannot take place until the industry leaders agree upon a definition of additionality in Europe. Some industry leaders have said that nothing is additional while the European 20-20-20 targets are in place. Another however may say that certain mechanisms are additional given certain criteria in certain locations. The point remains that until the industry as a whole decides upon a definition it is a difficult topic to address.
We encourage a discussion on this topic and encourage those interested to contact the secretariat of RECS International.
- Annual Report 2016
- Agenda seminar on development of REC/GO markets in the UK and internationally, London 25 September 2017
- Agenda seminar Renewables Good Practice (ReGP) in London, 26 September 2017
- Does the EU renewables sector need a guarantees of origin market?
- Development of the Guarantees of Origin Market 2016 Key Facts Report
- RECS International releases the Renewables Good Practice
- RECS International Annual Report 2016
- RECS Magazine - The rise of the corporate consumer
- RECS International Annual Report 2015
- RECS Magazine - Encouraging demand-side action to influence production-side change
- Launch of the GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance Report