14 October 2009 Joining the AIB AIB simplifies the international transfer of energy certificates Energy certificates are electronic documents The European Energy Certificate System which offer evidence of the source of a quan- (EECS) is well-tested, and based on a harmon- tity of energy, including the method and qual- ised environment, structures and procedures. ity of its production. It ensures the reliable operation of interna- tional energy certificate systems across Eu- These certificates are held in accounts on rope, and has proved to be highly effective, registration databases and are transferable efficient, fraud-resistant and low cost. between account holders. They are used to in- form consumers of the quality of their energy; EECS enables international trade between the and to provide evidence of compliance with certificate schemes of 16 European countries. public obligations, perhaps as a prerequisite of receiving support or an exemption from EECS certificates are uniquely identifiable, taxation. tradable and contain standard information including: a unique certificate number, issuer, The Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) is production facility identity, time of issue, pe- the leading enabler of international transfers riod of energy production, type of technology, of energy certificates, and guarantees the Eu- installed capacity and an indication of wheth- ropean Energy Certificate System (EECS) - no er public support has been received. other international energy certificate scheme exists worldwide. Members of the AIB first commenced opera- tion in 2001. Since then, over 600 million cer- Most members of the AIB are energy regula- tificates – each representing one megawatt tors and transmission system operators. The hour of electricity – have been created. 184 majority of members have been appointed by million certificates were issued in 2008, dem- governments to issue the renewable electrici- onstrating the high level of acceptance of AIB ty guarantees of origin (GO) introduced by the services. This growth reflects the increasing EU Directives for renewable energy (2001/77/ demand for certification of renewable electric- EC, and its recent replacement 2009/28/EC); ity, for disclosure of fuel mix. and CHP (2004/8/EC). Why join the AIB? The issuers of internationally transferable en- AIB cooperates with the European Commis- ergy certificates (such as GO) face the same sion, seeking solutions to issues of common challenge: to develop an accurate, reliable, interest. This ensures that EECS complies with fraud-resistant system, which supports na- European legislation, to the extent that EECS is tional and international legislation and har- the Commission benchmark for CHP guaran- monises with the systems of other countries; tees of origin. By briefing the European Com- and to do so both quickly and cost-effectively. mission on common issues, AIB is also able to influence its thinking in a way that acts to the The AIB offers a standardised solution, based benefit of market mechanisms and stakehold- on years of experience; and the support of ers. members who have already implemented sys- tems, and identified and overcome solutions This is particularly useful where international to many common problems. legislation changes: AIB members can pool re- sources and experience in order to resolve the The members of AIB pool their common expe- challenges raised by new legislation, in such riences and resources to develop systems such a way as to act to the benefit of member sys- as EECS, and the inter-registry Hub (which tems and national policy intentions. transfers certificates between registries). AIB also provides a forum for members to address AIB also seeks to raise with national govern- issues of common relevance, such as the cal- ments issues that arise from national support culation of national residual mixes. schemes, and have an international impact. In this way it can help protect policy objectives. 14 October 2009 Joining the AIB Becoming a member of the AIB The procedure for setting up an AIB infrastructure in a country is as follows: 1. Appoint an Issuing Body 2. If required, appoint agents to support the activities of the Issuing Body 3. Select, implement and test registry software or services 4. Draft a Domain Protocol, setting out how the market will operate in that country 5. Gain the approval of the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) 6. Start issuing certificates. The following paragraphs decribe these steps in more detail. Any questions should be addressed to the Secretary General at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +44(0)1494 681183. The website is also available, at http://www.aib-net.org. Step 1: Appoint an Issuing Body Step 2: Appoint agents to support Issuing Body Appointment The government appoints an Issuing Body for obliga- To fulfil its responsibilities, the Issuing Body can, if it tory schemes; while private organisations do this for wishes, appoint: voluntary schemes. The Issuing Body must be finan- cially independent of market participants; may not - A Production Registrar, to inspect Production De- profit from trade in certificates; and must undertake to vices on application from Generators and to verify ensure that it operates according to the rules of EECS. energy consumption. The rules of EECS are set out in the “Principles and This ensures that the requirements of the PRO and Rules of Operation for the European Energy Certificate the Domain Protocol are satisfied System “ (known the PRO). - An Auditing Body, to verify the continued fulfil- ment of the conditions for registration according to Responsibility the standards set out in a Domain Protocol. The appointed Issuing Body is responsible for: This will include comparing registered generation capacity with the issued number of certificates and - Inspecting all Production Devices that wish to par- other relevant data (e.g. wind speeds) ticipate - A Central Monitoring Office is appointed by the - Issuing, transferring ownership of and cancelling Issuing Body to administer an electronic registry. Certificates This registry holds certificates that have either been - Recording in an electronic registry the details of all issued for, or held by, participants within this coun- issued Certificates try. The registry records the details, status (transfer- able, cancelled, imported or exported) and owner- - Complying with EECS and the Articles of Associa- ship each certificate. tion of the AIB. 14 October 2009 Joining the AIB Step 3: Select, implement and Step 4: Gain approval of membership test registry Select and implement Application Setting up a registry is the responsibility of the Issuing The Issuing Body applies in writing to the AIB Sec- Body, which can develop its own software; or use com- retariat to become a member (preferably using the mercially available software, such as: proforma at: http://www.aib-net.org/portal/page/portal/AIB_HOME/AIB_membership.doc. ATOS ORIGIN (www.atosorigin.com) At the same time, they pay the first installment of the annual membership fee. This is currently €5,000, and Vendor: AtosOrigin, Austria entitles the member to join one scheme (e.g. GO for Contact: A Woloch (AtosOrigin, Austria) renewables, GO for CHP, RECS etc.). Email: email@example.com Tel: +43 (0)1 60543 0 Members wishing to join more than one scheme pay an additional fee of €1,000 per scheme once the Domain Protocol has been approved by the General BoX-GoO (poi.borzen.si) Meeting. Vendor: Borzen, Slovenia Contact: B Rajer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Consideration Tel: +386 1 620 7600/7650 The AIB holds four general meetings each year. Each which includes a social event such as a dinner - consid- CMO.grexel (cmo.grexel.com) ers matters concerning the policy and administration of the AIB. It also offers members the opportunity to Vendor: Grexel, Finland catch up on recent events, and take part in decision- Contact: M Lehtovaara making. Email: email@example.com Tel: +358 9 4241 3160 The next General Meeting will be asked to consider and approve membership applications. LOGACTIV (www.encore-inter- Membership is granted to the applicant provided 75% national.net) of the votes cast are in favour, and the Applicant may exercise its vote at the next General Meeting. How- Vendor: Encore International, UK ever, scheme membership is also necessary, before the Contact: M Sandford member can issue EECS certificates. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (7946) 710026 Test Software must be tested by AIB’s Systems Working Group prior to implementation in a live environment: Contact: Tomaz Lah Slovenian Energy Agency Email: email@example.com Tel: +386 (0) 2234 0300 14 October 2009 Joining the AIB Step 5: Gain approval of scheme membership Prepare a Domain Protocol Approval Issuing Bodies must apply the PRO within the context The Secretary General will ask the next General Meet- their own of national laws and operational procedures. ing to consider and approve this Domain Protocol. Rules supplementary to the PRO which apply to a geo- All members of the AIB can comment on the Domain graphic domain must be set out in a Domain Protocol Protocol and discuss any issues arising at the next AIB (an AIB template is available to help Issuing Bodies General Meeting, following which the application for draft this). Scheme membership will be put to the vote. Typical issues which differ between countries and are Membership is granted to the applicant provided 75% addressed in a Domain Protocol include: verification of the votes cast are in favour. and audit of Production Devices; calculation of elec- tricity generated; and measurement of the proportion of RES-E generated from biomass and pumped hydro. Completion of formalities The Applicant signs and provides to the AIB Secretary Process application for scheme membership General details of its national support schemes. The applicant sends the Domain Protocol for the rel- Scheme membership, with all rights and duties, evant Scheme to the AIB Secretary General. becomes operative the working day after the Domain Protocol has been approved by the General Meeting. The Secretary General reviews the Domain Protocol to identify issues which might require special consider- ation. The AIB appoints two Issuing Bodies to review the Step 6: Start issuing certificates Domain Protocol. Owners of Production Devices send the Issuing Body These reviewers check the Domain Protocol for confor- such documentation as it requires, on receipt of which mity with the PRO and its Subsidiary Documents. They the Issuing Body instructs the Production Registrar to also check that the registry complies with the require- confirm the details, if necessary by means of a visit. ments of the PRO and its Subsidiary Documents. Assuming the verification report is positive, the owner The ability of the registry to transfer certificates to and of the Production Device may start sending measure- from the other registries via the inter-registry Hub is ment data (and consumption data for pumped storage then tested. and combustion plant) to the Issuing Body. If the reviewers request, the Applicant must explain At this point, the Issuing Body can then issue cer- any provisions that seem unclear, and may be required tificates; and a further membership fee of €0.01 per to amend its Domain Protocol. certificate issued is made. The reviewers inform the Secretary General when they At the end of the first calendar year of operation, the have approved the Domain Protocol, or if they discov- annual fee for members issuing more than 1.5 million er matters of principal in which they seek the advice of certificates rises to €20,000 plus €5,000 per addiitonal the membership. scheme (the maximum total membership fee is capped at €35,000 plus €5,000 per scheme).