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Guarantees of Origin (GOs) for electricity

Legal regulations and application

This report presents the legal regulations of Guarantees of Origin (GO) and Electricity Disclosure. In accordance with the EU Directives on Renewable Energy (2009/28/EC) and on the Electricity Market (2009/72/EC), national governments are currently implementing numerous regulations within the areas of Guarantee of Origin (GO) and Electricity Disclosure. Disclosing the fuel mix is a requirement which is placed upon suppliers by the Electricity Markets Directive. The standardised Guarantee of Origin (GO), as defined in the Renewable Energy Directive, is a tracking instrument which can be used for disclosure purposes. Electricity Disclosure as a requirement, was implemented for the first time in the Electricity Market Directive (2003/54/EC, Article 3(6)). This was, in 2009, replaced by a new directive (2009/72/EC, Article 3(9)). This directive requires that suppliers of electricity disclose their electricity portfolio with regard to energy source and environmental impact, specifying the emissions of CO2and the production of radioactive waste.


These measures and processes open up an opportunity for providing European consumers with more reliable information about the origin of their electricity supply and for electricity producers to create extra income from the generated electricity.


In Norway, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) is responsible for publishing the Electricity Disclosure for the Residual Mix. The system secures that all cancelled GOs are subtracted from the Disclosure, thus making the related environmental attributes “available” to the customers to be claimed. This system ensures that the environmental attributes related to the purchased GOs are not being double counted.


The report also gives a short presentation of how the most relevant standards and guidelines for environmental documentation allow GOs and similar products to be included in reports and inventories.


The main conclusions from the study are summarised as follows:


•       The Norwegian Electricity Disclosure is annually published by The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), thus ensuring that the attributes related to Norwegian GOs are not double counted.

•       In June 2012 NVE implemented the pan-European harmonised methodology for Residual Mix calculations (RE-DISS) by publishing updated Norwegian Electricity Disclosures for 2010 and 2011. Thus, a complete Norwegian Electricity Disclosure regarding information about energy sources and CO2emissions is available for electricity suppliers and customers.

•       According to the most relevant guidelines and standards for environmental documentation, specifically purchased energy products/instruments (e.g. GOs) seems to be allowed to be included and reported in the inventories, as long as the attributes are not double counted. However, there are ongoing discussions regarding specified eligibility criteria for the products/instruments to be claimed.

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