New initiative to create an industry standard of hourly energy certificates

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An independent non-profit initiative is developing an industry standard of hourly certificates for consumers to track the source of their energy and understand their carbon emissions.

Called EnergyTag, the initiative is a voluntary set of guidelines that work with existing certificate schemes such as GOs and RECs and with other procurement methods such as PPAs as a voluntary ‘add-on’ and will not replace these schemes.

Dr Toby Ferenczi

Dr Toby Ferenczi, EnergyTag’s founder, commented: “It’s a cruel irony that the more successful we are at deploying renewable energy the harder it gets to integrate that energy into the grid.

“Adopting hour-by-hour energy certificates build’s consumer trust by linking production directly to consumption, supports the growth of energy storage, and enables accurate carbon accounting.

“Our goal is to establish a common, tradable instrument that provides traceability across markets for power, flexibility and carbon.

“Speeding up the switch to renewables is vital if we are going to keep within the 1.5-degree climate goal.”

EnergyTag brings together over 60 of some of the biggest names in technology and energy sectors, including Accenture, Microsoft, Google, Association of Issuing Bodies, CertiQ, EIT InnoEnergy, ECOHZ, Elering, Eneco, Energinet, Energy Web Foundation, ENGIE, Eurelectric, FlexiDAO, Iberdrola, I-REC Standard, M-RETS, OVO Energy, Ørsted, PwC, RECS International, WattTime and WindEurope.

EnergyTag’s Council and Advisory Board are working together to define a set of guidelines that will form the basis of a market for energy certificates with a timestamp of one hour or less.

Phil Moody, who will chair the EnergyTag council and advisory board, commented: “707 million electricity certificates (707 TWh) were issued in Europe last year involving 26 European countries.

“This success demonstrates what can be achieved when the industry identifies a need, builds a solution itself and then gets legislative support and regulatory approval once established.

“Current renewable energy procurement methods match average supply and demand over a 12-month period, but to reach the level of renewables required to meet new climate targets, there has to be some way to track the time of generation, which is why EnergyTag is the critical next step.”

In parallel, the initiative seeks to stimulate the first voluntary markets for the certificates by coordinating a series of demonstrator projects around the world showcasing real-time energy tracking technologies.

Michael Terrell, Director of Operations at Google and head of its 24/7 carbon-free energy programme, commented on their participation: “Google intends to run on carbon-free energy everywhere, at all times by 2030.

“EnergyTag will be an important tool for helping Google and many others source carbon-free energy for their operations, at an hourly level.

“We are excited to be part of the EnergyTag initiative and look forward to supporting the development of this important standard.”