The Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB), which guarantees the origin of European energy through the European Energy Certificate System (EECS), has suspended all exports of Icelandic GOs until further notice. Landsnet, the Icelandic transmission system operator (TSO) that handles the issuance of guarantees of origin in Iceland, has issued a statement calling for the swift resolution of the matter in cooperation with the AIB. There is much at stake if the AIB reaffirms its decision which Landsvirkjun has called into doubt. The main priority is to remove all uncertainty surrounding the issue.
The AIB's press release states that Iceland has been involved in “the double claiming of energy attributes”.
The guarantee of origin system was implemented in Iceland in 2008 and now has 28 member countries. Landsnet, which manages the development and operation of the electricity transmission system, is the issuer of guarantees of origin in Iceland. Iceland is obliged to offer electricity sellers the option of obtaining issued guarantees of origin as part of its membership of the EEA. There is no obligation to purchase the guarantees. However, businesses increasingly recognise the benefits of being able to demonstrate their green energy production conclusively or at least show support for green energy production.
Lack of regulatory response
Landsvirkjun is one of the energy companies in Iceland that sell guarantees of origin. Energy companies cannot prevent customers from claiming that their energy consumption is sourced from renewable energy without purchasing guarantees of origin. Essentially, it is a case of illegal false and misleading information in advertisements and other materials and the government has failed to react to this growing issue.
The sale of guarantees of origin for renewable energy production has increased rapidly in recent years. Icelandic energy companies currently generate tens of millions of Euros in annual income from their sale, which could increase to hundreds of millions in the coming years.