Staggering growth in consumer demand for green power

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Commentary from ECOHZ based on new statistics from the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB): "European households and businesses continue to show they are dead serious about the renewable energy transition," says Tom Lindberg, Managing Director in ECOHZ, based on statistics from the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB).

The total demand for green power continues to grow – both in more “mature” markets like Germany and Sweden, as well as in newly established markets like Spain.

European growth – impressive development

Looking at current market demand for renewable electricity documented with Guarantees of Origin in Europe 2017, customer demand is showing impressive signs, with Q2 numbers surging well above comparable figures for 2016, growing a staggering 39%. "The YTD figure of 377 TWh is already exceeding the total volume for all of last year with 11 TWh. Given that this development continues at the same pace, total demand for 2017 will likely reach nearly 500 TWh," says Lindberg.

"Europeans – consumer and corporates alike - show their green energy intentions in numerous ways. Some prefer building their clean power production capacity – exemplified by households’ solar installation now appearing across the whole continent, while others sign long-term power delivery contracts (PPAs) with new wind or solar parks. But still, a majority of Europeans purchase their power from the European grid – from their preferred power supplier," says Lindberg.

Most Europeans can choose who they buy their power from. They can also choose to purchase power from renewable power plants – instead of accepting a “grey default” power offer. More and more consumers prefer to secure clean energy from solar, wind, hydro, geothermal or bio. These purchases are documented using the system of Guarantees of Origin (GOs) – a system and standard established by the EU in 2001. Guarantees of Origin are used to track power production all across Europe, thus allowing power consumers – small or large – a real choice. This growing collective “voice of the market” is sending a strong signal to the power companies in Europe, that consumers are impatient and willing to pay extra to pave the way for the clean energy transition.

Businesses are increasingly demanding renewable energy for their operations and many of the world’s most influential companies have committed to using 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020 under RE100. Guarantees of Origin meet the robust criteria from RE100 - The Climate Group and CDP’s global initiative for influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power.

Germany is back on track – with new strong growth

In 2016 Germany experienced its first year of non-growth in demand for clean energy. In 2017, Germans have already purchased renewable power documented with Guarantees of Origin for more than 77 TWh, well ahead of the volumes for 2016. "If the trend continues Germany is likely to break the 100 TWh barrier for the first time!" says Lindberg.

Spain shakes up the European market for green power

Spain is latest of the large renewable producing countries to join in – contributing to growing an ever-larger European marketplace. Spain contributes access to more hydro power, but especially to large volumes of wind and solar.

Spain’s entrance to the Guarantees of Origin market contributed directly to available solar power soaring to new heights – from 1.9 TWh in 2015 to 21.4 TWh in 2016.

On a European scale both available power wind and biomass more than doubled in the same timeframe – with wind reaching almost 90 TWh, and bio 45 TWh

The total available market in Europe grew in 2016 to more than 500 TWh for the first time. This number only includes renewable power documented using the European standard EECS GOs, and not national GOs coming from countries like the UK, Poland among others. Adding renewable volumes from these markets would add another 120-180 TWh to the EECS volumes.

Green power market shows clear signs of maturity

The market for renewable power in Europe documented with Guarantees of Origin has at earlier intervals showed signs of strain, when experiencing a surge of new supply coming with new participating countries joining the system and market. "This trend has now been reversed as the price for purchasing renewable energy shows few signs of wavering, with large supply of new solar, wind, bio and hydro entering the market," says Lindberg.

"Interestingly the market is showing the exact opposite reaction – with prices for most renewable technologies and geographic origins showing an upward tendency. In some instances, 2017 has brought record prices for certain “qualities” – with prices at EUR 2.50 to 4.00 per MWh not uncommon," says Lindberg.

"The total demand for green power continues to grow – both in more “mature” markets like Germany and Sweden, as well as in newly established markets like Spain," says Lindberg.

The above is a commentary based on figures published by AIB (Association of Issuing Bodies).

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Tom Lindberg
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