Everything is ready for Western Balkan countries to start issuing and trading in guarantees of origin among themselves in line with EU rules, according to Naida Taso, a renewable energy expert at the Energy Community Secretariat. All that is left to do is for the national issuing bodies of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo*, and North Macedonia to sign agreements on the use of their national registries with energy certificate registry provider Grexel, she says.
Guarantees of origin certify that energy is produced from renewable sources, allowing consumers to choose to buy green energy and producers to meet customers’ demands and increase sales. This makes them a tool to boost investment in renewables and speed up the energy transition. Currently, Serbia is the only country in the Western Balkan region to have issued guarantees of origin in line with EU regulations.
Before launching the project to roll out the national registries, the Energy Community Secretariat had been approached by green energy producers from across the region, which said they needed guarantees of origin to be able to export to countries looking to import only green energy, according to Taso.
Guarantees of origin make it easier for producers to export green energy
In addition to this, there was also the obligation of the Energy Community Contracting Parties under the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) to establish a national electronic registry and start issuing guarantees of origin.
The project to introduce national registries and a regional trading scheme for guarantees of origin under EU rules was launched early this year. Following a tendering procedure, the Secretariat hired energy certificate registry provider Grexel. The service provider recently completed the job of developing registries for the Western Balkan countries and Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, which are also Energy Community Contracting Parties.
Some countries have already allocated funds for an agreement with Grexel
The project involved training the issuing bodies to use the national registries and adapt them to their needs.
The countries now have until the end of June 2023 to sign an agreement with Grexel and enable their national registry to go live. As soon as the first two countries do so, the trade will be possible between them. All the countries have shown strong interest, and some have already allocated the funding needed to sign an agreement with Grexel. The Secretariat is convinced the first agreements will be signed soon, Taso said, recalling that there is enough time for everyone to join in as the deadline is a full year away. Serbia, she said, is also welcome to join the regional scheme.
Taso: guarantees of origin are a prerequisite for some major companies to invest in the region
This is the right time for rolling out guarantees of origin, given the energy crisis and renewable sources mean domestic production and energy security, according to Taso. In addition to allowing consumers to participate in the energy transition and producers to prove the origin of their goods, she explained that guarantees of origin also facilitate economic development.
For example, Taso highlighted the global initiative Renewable 100 (RE100), which brings together 371 companies committed to 100% renewable electricity by 2050.
Those companies, which include global leaders such as Microsoft, Google, H&M, PepsiCo, and Continental, will not do business in countries where they cannot get guarantees that they are using green energy, according to her.
Yesterday, the Energy Community Secretariat organized a workshop to present the national registries and the regional scheme to representatives of the national issuing bodies and other stakeholders.