Empowering green energy consumers in Europe to make a real difference
“Hard Additionality” of markets for renewables on top of existing political targets for renewables
Existing markets for renewable electricity based on guarantees of origin have hardly any practical effect on increased investments and on the production of renewable energy. The best effect which European consumers of renewable electricity can achieve by choice of their supply is a contribution for reaching the existing targets. This, at least to some extent, likewise entails reduced responsibility and cost for less motivated actors like policy makers and grey consumers. It does not lead to more renewables as could have been expected without this individual demand by consumers. On behalf of EnergieVision e.V., Oeko-Institut e.V. has developed an approach how consumers can be given the possibility for making a real difference by their choice of supply and to actually trigger an increased volume of renewable energy production over and above existing political targets. This level of additional benefit is referred to as “hard additionality”. This approach builds on the following regulatory and technical preconditions which have to be implemented. Firstly, market participants should be empowered to ensure that renewable electricity generated by new and unsupported plants and which potentially fulfils further eligibility criteria is not fully attributed to existing political renewables targets at EU and national levels, but only with a basic share of 20 %. The remaining 80 % of the eligible renewable production thus can be considered to be really additional. Secondly, the existing systems for guarantees of origin are amended by additional features, so that they can facilitate Monitoring and statistical attribution by public bodies. With a view to the role of green energy labels, the paper proposes the application of appropriate criteria in order to meet the ambition level of “hard additionality”.