Renewable demand in Europe continues its upward trajectory

“The renewable electricity market in Europe continues to grow steeply,” says Tom Lindberg, Managing Director in ECOHZ, commenting on statistics from the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB). “The market is also more robust and more balanced than ever before.”

The total market demand for renewable electricity documented with Guarantees of Origin increased from 367 TWh in 2016 to 471 TWh in 2017, an impressive 28.3% increase.


"Although the growth is more evenly dispersed than earlier, the large countries still play an important role. Germany and France are both showing significant increase in customer uptake, and Germany has for the first time surpassed 91 TWh in total demand," says Lindberg.

Market value in 2017 two to three times greater than 2016

European consumers and corporates are increasingly fulfilling their green energy intentions by documenting their renewable purchases. Current market prices are reflecting this growing interest as the market reaches new levels of maturity. With the balance between supply and demand continuing to improve, the prices in the wholesale market have increased steadily compared to prices just a year ago.

"With even the lowest prices hovering around EUR 0.65 for a standard, unspecified Guarantee of Origin in the wholesale market, the total market value has reached new levels. When also including volumes from markets using non-EECS Guarantees of Origin (150-180 TWh), the value of the European market is conservatively estimated to be EUR 450 million. This is more than two to three times higher than a year ago," says Lindberg.

Wind and solar with greatest increase in market consumption

Although hydro power still is the largest source of renewable electricity available, the fastest increase in consumer uptake is experienced from wind and solar sources.

"It is likely that the share of wind and solar would be even higher if countries like Germany and France did not limit the issuing of Guarantees of Origin from power plants that have received support. As many of these power plants are either wind or solar, the result is a constricted supply from the newest technologies," says Lindberg.

Total supply continues to increase

Compared to the same period in 2016, 2017 has experienced a higher supply of issued Guarantees of Origin to the market.

"The total supply is per date 410 TWh, but will likely increase with at least 100 TWh as the 2017 statistics are further updated in 2018. This confirms a lower growth in supply than in demand, and is comparable to the 2016 supply of 509 TWh," says Lindberg.

Prices will most likely continue to increase

Although renewable power production (hydro, wind & solar) in Europe will continue to vary, and thus impact the volume of issued Guarantees of Origin, there are strong signals indicating that demand will continue to grow faster. This will continue to put pressure on today's market prices.

"With new multinationals joining the global RE100 initiative, we are confident that renewable demand will continue. Although prices are higher than ever before, they still are not reflecting the actual marginal value of renewables compared to fossil alternatives. We can thus expect the prices to be further pressured upward the next few years," says Lindberg.

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The above is a commentary based on figures published by AIB (Association of Issuing Bodies). Many of the AIB member countries have deviating reporting schemes, and therefore the statistics are not fully complete at this point in time. Updated figures will thus contribute to strengthen the aggregate figures and trends, but can potentially change country- and technology specific conclusions.

About Guarantees of Origin
Guarantees of Origin is a system and standard established by the EU in 2001. Guarantees of Origin are used to track power production all across Europe, thus allowing power consumers - small or large - a real choice. This growing collective "voice of the market" is sending a strong signal to the power companies in Europe, that consumers are impatient and willing to pay extra to pave the way for the clean energy transition.

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