Behind this growth are thousands of businesses and millions of households in numerous European countries – voluntarily purchasing renewable electricity documented with Guarantees of Origin.
The market has seen a steady increase in national participants but is still dominated by a select number of countries. The five countries that consume the most renewable energy are Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy. Together they demand ¾ of the renewable energy used in Europe.
The Netherlands is the fastest growing market. From 2014 to 2015 it has grown by a brisk 12%, and consumed more than 42.5 TWh in 2015. Germany is still the largest market with a total volume of 87 TWh in 2015.
The marketplace for Guarantees of Origin is steadily growing in terms of countries, with more than 20 countries actively working with AIB (Association of Issuing Bodies) and fully using EECS, the common European market standard.
Norway, Austria, Finland, Denmark, France and Belgium today make up the next group of countries – each with a steady market demand between 10 and 35 TWh annually. The rest of the national markets are still fairly immature, and together represent only a smaller share of the total market demand.
The AIB statistics include only GOs based on the EECS standard. There are still countries with national certificate markets that have yet to adopt the EECS standard. These markets total more than 100 TWh of additional market demand. This pushes the actual market volume beyond 440 TWh.
The development in 2015 follows a record-breaking 2014, during which the market experienced a 27.6 % growth and an all-time high, 314 TWh demand for renewable electricity. Moreover, for the first time since 2011, there was a real balance between supply and demand.
With the UK, Spain and a few smaller countries considering joining AIB, and adopting the EECS standard, there is much discussion and uncertainty concerning how this will affect the market. Both the UK and Spain are countries with a sizable renewable energy generation, as well as a corporate sector that can have strong demand for renewable energy. Wholesale prices have risen significantly the last part of 2015.
The question market-players and consumers are voicing is “Will the inclusion of new markets give additional push to the upward price development?”
The European demand for renewable electricity documented by Guarantees of Origin now constitutes more than 13% of all electricity consumption in Europe (ca. 3,200 TWh) and approximately 40% of all electricity generated from renewable sources in Europe (ca. 1,100 TWh).