Insights / Guaranteeing the supply of renewable power

Guaranteeing your supply of renewable power

30th August 2019

How can you be certain that the electricity you buy for your organisation really comes from a renewable source? By making sure your electricity is backed by renewable certificates from one of two schemes. Either the UK’s Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme, or the EU’s Guarantees of Origin (GoOs) programme. Find out how by reading on.

As the UK moves towards a decarbonised energy future, more organisations are switching to renewable electricity and reducing their carbon footprint.

Research from 2018 showed this is something customers and other stakeholders want. For example, close to 75% of UK consumers would prefer to buy from companies that use renewable power. But how can you be sure that your organisation’s getting what it expects?

That’s where Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) and Guarantees of Origin (GoO) certificates come in. The UK energy regulator – the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) – recognises both formats. The regulator classifies the following as acceptable sources of renewable electricity: anaerobic digestion; biomass; Combined Heat and Power (CHP); hydro; solar photovoltaic; thermal; waste; wind.

Due to the way the UK power market works, your organisation probably won’t source electricity directly from a generator. Instead, you’ll buy it from the power that’s available through the UK transmission system.

Imagine this transmission system as a river, being fed by hundreds of different sources – all the different generators are contributing to the overall flow. Once these channels have joined the main river, it’s impossible to distinguish between them. In other words, you can’t know what’s been produced by a wind turbine, by a coal-fired power station or nuclear plant and so on.

However, your REGO or GoO certificates prove that the renewable electricity you’ve contracted to buy from your supplier is traceable, all the way back to its origin.

How do renewable certificates work?

Every renewable generator in the UK, regardless of size or subsidy level, is entitled to one REGO certificate for every single megawatt hour (MWh) of power it produces. Ofgem issues these certificates, usually each month, to guarantee the integrity of the electricity produced – and recognises the GoOs issued overseas too. The certificates also allow the industry to track renewable electricity across the grid, from its point of production to wherever it’s consumed.

At the end of the financial year, every REGO is recorded in the Ofgem Renewable and CHP Register (the process for EU GoOs is a little different, but they all feed in to the REGO scheme operated by Ofgem). Each registered entry references the supplier that held the REGO at that time.

So, whenever you buy renewable power for your organisation in the UK, you can trust its source. This means you can use renewable certificates as part of your carbon reporting and show your customers and stakeholders you’re striving towards zero carbon emissions.

To find out how Drax can help your organisation with renewable electricity, get in touch by using our contact form button below.

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