Buy physically green electricity instead of Guarantees of Origin  



Some companies claim to be powered by 100% renewable electricity, but that is not possible, because when the wind is not blowing and the sun does not shine (Without hydro and batteries) you cannot be powered from 100% renewable. And with the electricity contracts for small consumers, it's the same. How is it possible, for companies to claim that their electricity is 100% renewable?

Electricity providers and companies just buy Guarantees of Origin. For each MWh of renewable electricity produced, the company that produced it can sell 1 Guarantees of Origin to a customer (electricity consumer). Once the electricity is consumed, the Guarantees of Origin is invalidated and cannot be sold anymore. The guarantee can be sold months after production.
This seems to be fine because the consumer can support renewables without the need to know the physical origin of his electricity. The problems with that are the following :
The price of the certificates of origin is too small to make a significant difference.
Because you can buy green electricity whenever you want, without it physically be from renewable sources, you don't support the electricity grid and storage systems.
Companies can, for example, build a datacenter anywhere they want, without considering the physical source of electricity. The company just needs to buy certificates of origin to claim to their client that the electricity is entirely from renewables.

Guarantee of Origin supports renewable electricity production, but not enough to make the transition to full renewable happen.
It's just a financial tool to sell and buy "greenns" independently from physical constraints.

The Solution :
The Electricity provider will say that it's not possible to know the physical origin of electricity.
In the past, it wasn't possible, but now that most countries in Europe publish electricity production and consumption in real-time, it is possible.
You can see the real-time carbon footprint of the electricity in gCO2eq/KWh of most of the countries in Europe and some other countries in the world.
You can see it here:


But to know when to charge your electric car, it is better to know which power plant will increase electricity production to match the electricity demand for the additional load. A company does exactly that, by collecting the freely available data of the electricity grids, and calculates with machine learning the time where the electricity in the grid is the greenest.
The company has two open-source projects to which everyone can contribute :
Electricity map:
Mobile app:

I hope this is not too complicated to understand. If you want to know more about it, take a look at these articles:


This topic was modified 4 months ago by Adrian

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