Guarantees of Origin, Labels, Medals
Guarantees of Origin:
The Guarantee of Origin (GO) is an instrument defined in European legislation, that labels electricity from renewable sources to provide information to electricity customers on the source of their energy. Guarantees of Origin in the meaning of Directive 2009/28/EC are the only precisely defined instruments evidencing the origin of electricity generated from renewable energy sources.
Guarantees of Origin should not be confused with the Eugene Green Energy Standard or EKOenergy labelling scheme. Both provide consumers with more information about their power (transparency). However, Eugene and EKOenergy go further by requiring additionality. Besides, Eugene and EKOenergy are private initiatives whereas guarantees of origin arise from European regulations.
If you have been present in any of our presentations, or you have seen them through streaming, you will have heard us talk about the “medals”. We use the generic term “medals” of energy to refer to existing or future GOs, labels and certificates that can guarantee that energy has been produced, consumed, transported or managed in a certain way.
Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB)
The Association of Issuing Bodies – the AIB – promotes the use of a standardised system, based on harmonized environment, structures and procedures in order to ensure the reliable operation of international energy certificate systems. The standardized system is known as EECS – the European Energy Certificate System – and is set out in “The EECS Rules” and its supporting documents.
Of the 28 countries of the European Union, 18 are now active members, along with Norway and Switzerland. Since 2001, more than three billion (3,232 million) 1MWh certificates have been issued, of which 2,859 million have already been used (cancelled) to guarantee to consumers the origin of the renewable energy they have purchased. In 2016, more than 531 million certificates were issued, and 387 million of these were cancelled.
The work of the AIB is of relevance to all electricity customers, as the Guarantee of Origin (the instrument created in the European Directive and standardised through EECS) is a cornerstone of providing reliable disclosure information on the origin of electricity supplied to consumers.
AIB members (https://www.aib-net.org/facts/aib_members/aib_members1):
- Austria: E-Control
- Belgium (Federal): CREG
- Belgium (Brussels Region): Brugel
- Belgium (Flanders Region): VREG
- Belgium (Wallonia Region): CWaPE
- Croatia: HROTE
- Cyrpus (Not yet active): TSO Cyprus
- Czech Republic: OTE
- Denmark: Energinet
- Estonia: Elering
- Finland: Finextra
- France: Powernext
- Germany: UmweltBundesAmt
- Iceland: Landsnet
- Ireland: SEMO
- Italy: GSE
- Luxembourg: ILR
- Netherlands: CertiQ
- Norway: Statnett
- Portugal: REN renunció el 31 de diciembre de 2015. AIB está en discusión con su sucesor, el organismo portugués, DGEG.
- Slovenia: AGEN-RS
- Spain: CNMC
- Switzerland: Swissgrid
A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. A blockchain can serve as “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”.
Blockchains are secure by design and are an example of a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance. Decentralized consensus has therefore been achieved with a blockchain. This makes blockchains potentially suitable for the recording of events, medical records, and other records management activities, like documenting provenance.
This security offered by the use of a blockchain network, offers in our system the ability to be completely transparent and fraud-proof.
This technology has been chosen, specifically, Ethereum, since each transaction is traceable, and supports the creation of “Smart Contracts”.
A smart contract is a computer protocol intended to facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract.
Proponents of smart contracts claim that many kinds of contractual clauses may be made partially or fully self-executing, self-enforcing, or both. The aim with smart contracts is to provide security that is superior to traditional contract law and to reduce other transaction costs associated with contracting.
Each smart contract is a small program that works autonomously, avoiding written documents and misinterpretations. They’re distributed by all the computers of the network, in an immutable and transparent way, which makes it impossible to be modified or falsified.
This means that, for each guarantee of origin, medal or certificate, it can be assigned an “automatic” operation and behavior, for example:
- Their exact type of generation and date of the energy.
- Automatic expirations
- Amount of energy generated
- Limitations on buying and selling (Allowing ro denying selling them between different countries, for example).
In addition to these features, we have the total traceability and security offered by the blockchain technology.
In our platform, we have chosen to use Solidity, due to its ease in programming, large community and documentation, and that its final code is relatively simple to read, which increases the transparency of our network .
Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It provides a decentralized Turing-completevirtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called “ether”, which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed.”Gas”, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.
There’s a lot of reasons to choose Ethereum to be our base platform, but the most important ones are:
- It has open source licenses (GPL3, MIT, LGPL, and others).
- Well documented system
- Very active community.
- Large companies and entities already rely on this technology, such as Banco Santander or Alastria.
- Ease in the development and understanding of Smart Contracts, thanks to its high level languages such as Solidity. Simpler codes, easier to understand provides greater transparency.