A dozen utilities will take part in a new UK trading platform, seeking to overcome accusations of greenwashing that have undermined the credibility of renewable energy certificates.
(Bloomberg) — A dozen utilities will take part in a new UK trading platform, seeking to overcome accusations of greenwashing that have undermined the credibility of renewable energy certificates.
Total Energies, Ovo Energy Ltd and Brook Green Supply Ltd are among the 12 utilities that agreed to buy hourly energy certificates on the platform launched by Nordpool ASA and startup Granular SAS. The utilities then plan to sell the power onto customers, providing more transparency over when and where the green energy they’re buying is produced.
Under current rules, companies claim to be using and selling 100% renewable energy by purchasing cheap certificates from wind turbine or solar panel owners, even if that energy was produced months or even a year ago. That’s led to accusations of greenwashing because these certificates fail to reflect the physical flows of renewable energy through the grid.
Paris-based Granular is trying to fix that problem by offering timestamped certificates within an hourly window. It’s seeking to take advantage of the growing demand from companies and regulators for real-time energy certificates. Google and Microsoft Corp. have both set targets for round -the-clock renewable energy, while last month the European Commission proposed new requirements for green hydrogen, which includes hourly matching.
On Monday, the UK government announced a new standard for low carbon hydrogen, which also requires producers to account for their electricity demand and show that the electrolyzer is operating at the same time of the power input source. The United Nations also has a movement that Corporates and governments can sign up to that seeks to ensure every kilowatt-hour of power used is matched with carbon-free electricity in order to achieve a fully decarbonized grid.
A handful of other corporates including Sky Ltd will also participate in the new market, to help boost the credibility of their green energy claims for their operations, according to a statement from Granular. It will make use of a the so-called EnergyTag standard for hourly energy certificates that Granular developed over the last two years.
Granular also confirmed on Tuesday that it received 2 million Euros ($2.091 million) of venture capital investment from Seedcamp Ltd, Revent, and Powerhouse Ventures LLC.
“The idea is to harness technology to send a razor sharp price signal for renewable energy,” said Toby Ferenczi, Granular Energy co-founder and chief executive officer. He said they’ll use the money to roll-out its platform in the UK and launch in three new European markets and the US.