Certification schemes

There is no centralised coordination system for issuing guarantees of origin. Instead, several voluntary schemes with different approaches exist, both at national and EU-level.

Example of a European certification scheme 

RECS – Renewable Energy Certificate Scheme

A voluntary group of market players, from generators, traders, wholesalers, suppliers developed a standardized pan-European electricity tracking system. RECS International has worked since 2001 to improve and simplify the system of tracked electricity, the certificates used in that system and the claims consumers can make after their certificate purchases. In some European Countries registries for a certain domain (country or region) were established and interlinked via a central hub organised by the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB). Every domain has its own regulations (domain protocol), its own issuing body and registries. In most cases a “production registrar” is in charge to testify the amount of production before it is finally registered. Meanwhile some RECS registries are transformed into or replaced by the national GO registry according to the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC1.

Examples of national certification schemes 

Austrian GoO scheme (Stromnachweis-Datenbank)

In 2004, Austria established a national database to register the issuance, transfer andredemption of GoO. The Austrian GoO scheme was implemented in accordance with therequirements laid down in the Renewable Electricity Directive (D2001/77/EC). Normally theauthority of the individual state provides the production volume on a monthly basis to theregister database. In certain cases accredited auditors have to verify the production data andenter the volumes into the database. The Austrian registry, called “Stromnachweis-Datenbank” is linked to the central hub of Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) for import andexport of GoOs. The GoO-Database allows to indicate additional quality criteria to a GoO,known as Independent Criteria Scheme (ICS). This mechanism works in a similar manner tothe standard “Generation Energy Efficiency (EE)” developed by TÜV SÜD. Furthermore, ithas an electronic link to the BlueRegistry of TÜV SÜD in order to transfer certificates whichare certified by TÜV SÜD. Electricity suppliers use the Stromnachweis-Datenbank todetermine the electricity disclosure.

Swiss GoO scheme (Herkunftsnachweissystem)

Switzerland established in 2006 a national database to register voluntarily the Swissproduction of renewable energy. Since beginning of 2013, it is compulsory to register allproduction from renewable, fossil and nuclear power plants which have a higher capacitythan 30 kVA. The Swiss registry is linked to the central hub of AIB for import and export ofGoOs. As in the case above, the GoO-database permits to define additional qualities of theGoG. Electricity suppliers have to use the GoO scheme to determine the electricitydisclosure for all of the energy carriers.


The BlueRegistry was established by TÜV SÜD in 2007. This registry has two parts: one forCO2-reduction certificates and another one for green energy certificates. The BlueRegistryregisters only TÜV SÜD certified production, according to the TÜV SÜD standard“Generation EE”. Until the end of 2012, the BlueRegistry also registered German GoOsaccording to the Renewable Electricity Directive (D2001/77/EC). The BlueRegistry iselectronically linked with the Austrian GoO-database in order to import certificates which arecertified by TÜV SÜD. As soon as national GoO registries implement a system to indicateadditional qualities on a GoO for labelled production, there would be no need any more forregistering green certificates in BlueRegistry.