The demand for renewable electricity in Europe, documented with Guarantees of Origin (GOs), grew briskly in 2015 – up more than 9% from 2014 and surpassing 343 TWh. “Behind this growth are thousands of businesses and millions of households in numerous European countries – voluntarily purchasing renewable electricity documented with Guarantees of Origin”, says Tom Lindberg, Managing Director, in ECOHZ.
Based on recent statistics from The Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB), the growth trend continues in 2016. Mid-year figures show a growth-rate in excess of 6.3% from 2015 to 2016. From 2012 to 2016 the market has experienced an annual growth (CAGR) of 14.3%.
Germany’s “market dominance” may be threatened. Germany is the largest single national market for renewable power consumption, but for the first time, its impressive yearly growth seems to have slowed down. Renewable purchases of 65 TWh during the first half of 2016, represents a decline of 5% compared to same period in 2015.
Italy, France and Finland are examples of countries that have markets growing faster than Germany. This development is positive – contributing to an even more stable and robust marketplace. Both Sweden and Switzerland have large and stable markets for renewable purchases. This remains unchanged.
Spain is the wildcard of 2016. As the 4th largest renewable producer in Europe, Spain will finally join the European marketplace for renewables – likely during Q3 this year. With 70 TWh of national Guarantees of Origin available, it remains to be seen how Spain’s entrance will impact the market balance.
The United Kingdom is now the only remaining large renewable producer not actively participating in the European market. With Brexit questions looming - the outlook for UK membership in AIB does seems less likely than it was a year ago.
The AIB statistics only include Guarantees of Origin based on the EECS standard. EECS Guarantees of Origin are tradable across national borders among countries that have joined AIB and that are connected to AIB’s electronic hub.
There are still European markets with national renewable certificate systems that have yet to adopt the EECS standard (incl. the above-mentioned Spain and UK), and that do not participate in the Pan-European market place. These markets total more than 200 TWh of purchased renewable power – thus pushing the actual market volume renewable beyond 550 TWh for 2015. This means that 50% of all renewable power production in Europe is documented with renewable energy certificates.