Guarantees of origin

Guarantees of origin (GOs), as in Directive 2009/28/EC, are the only precisely defined instruments evidencing the origin of electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

Article 15(1) of the Directive defines the purpose of guarantees of origin as "proving to final customers the share or quantity of energy from renewable sources in an energy supplier’s energy mix." Member states use guarantees of origin to ensure that "the origin of electricity produced from renewable energy sources can be guaranteed as such within the meaning of this Directive, in accordance with objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria."

A guarantee of origin must be of the standard size of 1 MWh, and article 15(6) Directive 2009/28/EC states that it must specify at least:

 

  • The energy source from which the energy was produced and the start and end dates of production;
  • Whether it relates to electricity; or heating or cooling;
  • The identity, location, type and capacity of the installation where the energy was produced;
  • Whether and to what extent the installation has benefited from investment subsidies, whether and to what extent the unit of energy has benefited in any other way from a national support scheme, and the type of support scheme;
  • The date on which the installation became operational; and
  • The date and country of issue and a unique identification number.

These provisions came into force in December 2010.

Where guarantees of origin are to be transferred to other countries, the system of the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) can be used provided that the principles and rules of operation are adhered to. For market participants, this means that they must sign the AIB's standard terms and conditions in two counterparts and send them to E-Control. The standard terms and conditions and a detailed explanation of how the relating costs are composed are avaialble below.

 

For GOs issued abroad to be used for electricity labelling in Austria, they must fulfil several criteria. Below, we provide a list of countries of origin of GOs that were successfully used in Austria previously.

 

In Austria the entire life cycle of a guarantee of origin, from its generation to its transfer and cancellation, is registered in the E-Control GO database. The database provides all Austrian market players with an electronic information system that enables them to issue and use standard guarantees of origin in accordance with transparent criteria. It simplifies information transfer along the entire process chain from the generator to the consumer.

Guarantees of origin are issued via the database by system operators free of charge. OeMAG registers the supported renewable electricity it has bought in the E-Control database itself.

Renewable electricity can only be sold as such if a guarantee of origin is transferred to the buyer. Under the labelling system, the GO is cancelled as soon as the electricity is delivered to the consumer (see section 8(4) Ökostromgesetz (Green Electricity Act) 2012 and section 79 Elektrizitätswirtschafts- und -organisationsgesetz (Electricity Act) 2010).

Registration with the GO database is free of charge. You can do so via the website of the database itself or by sending in a registration form that is available from our German pages.
Registered users can access the database by entering their username and password.

Further information is available from the GO database website.

For technical support with the GO database, please contact Ms Andrea Hilfrich of our Department for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
e-mail: andrea.hilfrich@e-control.at
phone: +43 1 24724-0

If you have questions about how the system works, please contact stromkennzeichnung@e-control.at