Green certificates: what they are and how to get them

Green certificates: what they are and how to get them

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Green certificates: a form of incentive for the production of electricity from renewable sources, a tormented form that has shown distortions and that in Italy in particular has undergone changes and received criticism. Concerns still remain today, the fact is that i green certificates they refer only and only to plants that entered service by 12 December 2012. Gradually others have taken over incentive mechanisms. Maybe they weren't green enough, or they revealed blackish undertones.

Green certificates: what they are

THE green certificates are negotiable securities also used in the Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain and overseas, in Italy they were introduced by the decree of liberalization of the electricity sector known as Bersani decree. To be involved in this form of incentive are the companies and activities that produce energy from conventional sources (oil, coal, methane): green certificates allow them to comply with the obligation to use renewables for 2%, as the law requires.

The GSE (Energy Services Manager) is the entity that issues the green certificates and it does so by looking at the amount of energy produced by the plants affected by these incentives, those powered by renewables and activated by 2012. The number of these green certificatestherefore, it ends up depending both on the type of renewable source and on any plant interventions such as a new construction, a reactivation, an upgrade and a makeover.

Put another way, when a "green" plant manages to produce energy by emitting less CO2 than another would have done with fossil sources (oil, natural gas, coal, etc.). green certificates which therefore correspond to a "tot" of emissions "saved" to planet Earth. Once the manager of one of these “green” plants has his deserved in hand green certificates, can resell them to those who should produce a share of energy through renewables, but he doesn't, or he can't do it alone.

Green certificates: GSE

In Italy, as we have seen, i green certificates are issued by Energy Services Manager (GSE) at the request of producers of energy from renewable sources, after they have obtained an "okay" with respect to the procedure of "qualification of plant powered by renewable sources" (IAFR qualification).

After the exam, the GSE, which keeps track of the emissions of green certificates and related transactions through a dedicated computer system, assigns the manager an identification code with which he can then access his own account. Of green certificates.

Among these managers there are also, more than allowed, the subjects that I want to carry out trading activities of green certificates: they sell them to those who do not know them or cannot conquer them on their own. Returning to the ownership account, the GSE activates it in conjunction with the first issue of green certificates and the manufacturer from that moment on will be able to consult it online by accessing the dedicated computer system, monitoring transfers and changes.

Green certificates: value and price

Each of the green certificates it has a value that conventionally corresponds to the production of 1 MWh of renewable energy. Given that in order to comply with the legal obligation on renewable sources, not being able to feed clean electricity into the grid, it is possible to buy green certificates from others, it is obvious that they also have a market price. These purchases and sales happen in one exchange managed by GME to which the energy-producing company turns when it wants, in truth it must, buy the green certificates that she misses in order to be okay with the obligation incumbent on her.

Seller side of green certificates, it is good to know that they can accumulate waiting to sell them when their value has grown as a result of market demand. In 2006 the price of green certificates was equal to approximately 125 € / Mwh. Today, 2016, the plants that produce renewable energy and that entered into operation by 31/12/2012 are granted an incentive I on the net production incentive, in addition to the revenues deriving from the incentive enhancement of energy.

This incentive is equal to: I = K x (180 - Re) x 0.78. Calculator in hand, I would say, considering that Re is the price of electricity defined by the AEEGSI. A few examples in figures: for plants powered by biomass, excluding biogas, which entered into operation by 31 December 2012, the sale price of Re electricity is set at 77.00 € / Mwh. For the bioliquid plants cogeneration, the reference price for Re is 91.34 € / Mwh.

Green certificates: duration

THE green certificates they are valid for three years: issued in a specific year, they can be used to comply with the obligation even in the following two years. However, it is stated that, with regard to the incentives linked to green certificates starting from the year 2016, the timing is as follows.

The GSE will pay them on quarterly basis within the second quarter following the reference quarter. Meanwhile, operators will be able to have the monthly certification of the incentivized production, the relative economic value of the incentive and the date of disbursement by the GSE. When the energy production of the plants cannot be determined on a monthly basis, or in the case of cogeneration plants combined with district heating, the incentives will be disbursed by the GSE on an annual basis.

Green certificates: duration

Designed to incentivize virtuous energy production processes, relieving the State of the duty to intervene directly, green certificates they showed themselves helpless in the face of distortion phenomena that were not at all negligible. This has partially undermined their greenness, their mission to reduce greenhouse gases.

Let's explain better: the subsidies provided by the green certificates were also granted to "so-called sources similar to renewables". A category that we Italians have invented out of the blue and that has not just thwarted the efforts of the provision. In fact, "thanks" to this "assimilated" most of the funds allocated for these incentives ended up in the pockets of those who produced energy through the combustion of refinery waste, pomace or waste incineration. The Bersani decree was then corrected, but the funds given to certain little green subjects do not come back.

Other distortions occurred due to a failure to calibrate the incentive with respect to costs and production. Exemplary, so to speak, the case of wind power. "Too many" incentives have led to an anomalous and unnatural expansion of the areas of the national territory where it was convenient to install a wind power plant. An incentive, as in this case, not calibrated on the basis of the production to be achieved, or the costs to be incurred, has led to consequences that are anything but virtuous.

Other than the mission of the green certificates to the benefit of the country and the environment: a degradation effect of territories or landscapes has been obtained with consequent damage to the cultural and tourism sector. Up to real speculations to which Italy is no stranger. At the antipodes of the wind power case, again with regard to green certificates, there is that of Solar photovoltaic he was born in solar thermodynamic. If the mechanism thus conceived has helped wind energy too much, it has failed to push and encourage these others forms of energy production which, less industrially mature, have remained in a corner.

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