Guarantee of Origin

From Open Risk Manual


A Guarantee of Origin (GO) is an Energy Certificate defined in European Union legislation[1]. Providing energy consumers with sustainability information and avoiding Double Counting is the main objective of this system of guarantees.


A GO assigns electricity attributes that typically (but not exclusively) characterize Renewable Energy, thereby providing information to electricity customers on the sources and potential ESG impact of their energy.

Each GO certificate guarantees that one MWh of electricity has been produced from energy sources with specific attributes.

An entity can purchase guarantees of origin as documentation for the electricity delivered or consumed. The value of such GO is the premium an electricity consumer is willing to pay for the attributes of the electricity. The value of a wind GO is the premium paid for electricity wind when compared to undifferentiated electricity. The price of a GO is thus affected by the supply and demand of the GO market and is distinct from the prices of electricity.

Guarantees of origin are cancelled in the electronic certificate registry. This standardized instrument allows to track ownership, verify claims and ensure that guarantees of origin are only sold once and that there is no Double Counting.

Guarantees of origin can be traded.

The issuance, trading and cancellation of GO is standardized through the European Energy Certificate System (EECS) provided by the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB). The European Energy Certificate System makes trade, cancellation and use of GOs standardized across AIB members.

Energy Attributes

The following is a list of attributes referenced in a GO certificate:

  • Source of Energy
  • Type (Electricity, Heating or Cooling)
  • Production Facility (identity, location, type and capacity)
  • Data the installation became operational
  • Production Period: Refers to the month and year when the electricity was produced.
  • The extent to which the production plant and each unit of supplied energy have benefited from a support scheme, and the type of support
  • The date and country of the GO issue and a unique identification number

Transfer is the delivery process of GO from one party to another

GOs can originate from a country other than the country of consumption.

GOs can be imported (exported) from another country either via import (export), or via cancellation.

Cancellation is analogous to physical use of a GO certificate and is the method for allocating the attributes of the electricity to the single end-user.

Cancelling a GO is the only way to redeem its benefits while ensuring that the certificate will not be traded, given, sold, or used by another end-user.

Issues and Challenges


  1. article 15 of the Renewable Energy Directive 2009 (Directive 2009/28/EC)