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Demand For Renewable Electricity In Europe Reaches Record Levels

Originally published on Energy Post.

The demand for renewable electricity in Europe based on Guarantees of Origin (GO) validated by the European EECS standard continued to grow in 2015. The growth is up more than 8% from 2014 and surpassed 340 TWh, reports ECOZH, a Norwegian renewable energy supplier.

The market for Guarantees of Origin, which provide certification of renewable energy, 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 based on Guarantees of Origin are Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy. Together they demand ¾ of certified 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. Interestingly, the Netherlands has the lowest share of renewable energy generation in the EU apart from Malta and Luxembourg. Dutch consumers, however, are demanding – and getting – renewable energy from abroad. Germany is still the largest market with a total volume of 87 TWh in 2015.

Norway, Austria, Finland, Denmark, France and Belgium 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.

More than 20 countries are now actively working with the AIB (Association of Issuing Bodies), which issues Guarantees of Origin based on a standardised system: the European Energy Certificate System (EECS), a common European market standard.

The AIB statistics include only GOs based on the EECS standard. There are still countries with national certificate markets that have not adopted 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.

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).

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 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?”

Reprinted with permission.

 
 
 
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