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The Complexity of the Grid Demands We Confront Greenwash with a New Concept

Julia Benz
Oct 20, 2022

High Speed Ground Transport

Multinational corporations are looking for new and innovative ways to reduce emissions and become greener companies. Until now, companies have largely used strategies such as power purchase agreements, green energy tariffs, and energy attribute certificates (EACs) to procure renewable energy (RE).

Increasingly there is a feeling among the sustainability community that traditional EACs such as renewable energy credits in the US or Guarantees of Origin in Europe are not providing sufficient information to their customers, and ultimately to the markets that they are helping to shape.

The new certification requirement is becoming more nuanced, stating that companies should be able to buy RE that is nearby (geographically) and covers their power needs for a particular time of the day or night. This has given rise to the term Time-based Energy Attribute Certificate (T-EAC) as a replacement for EACS. 

Adopting a more granular measurement approach could be something of a hurdle for any stakeholder beginning their steps toward a T-EAC program, but progress is being made. Using blockchain to track this data comes with the benefits of security, transparency, and immutability.  

EnergyTag, an industry-led initiative has just released the first standards for energy certificates with less than 1-hour timeframes. Their work is about encouraging carbon free electricity adoption across all energy industry participants. 

A new white paper explores the need for geography and time to become the fundamental data attributes for the provenance of any quantity of energy. The paper goes on to show how the most innovative companies are proceeding on this basis. It has ramifications for the issuance of EACs. It also shows how innovative technology such as blockchain is intimately connected to the solutions being created.

The problems of understanding how to achieve net zero in a grid context are far from simple. But as the white paper shows, there are emerging strategies for dealing with the nature of the grid. 

Check out the Guidehouse Insights’ white paper, commissioned by Powerledger, How Trading of Granular Energy Credits Could Enable and Accelerate the Transition to 24/7 Carbon-Free Energyand join the upcoming webinar. For more information, check out Guidehouse Insights’ Energy Blockchain Project Tracker service.