The Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) is a certification scheme to verify the origins of renewable electricity in the UK.
What is the Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin scheme?
The scheme is managed through the Renewable and Combined Heat and Power Register where certified renewable energy generators submit their eligible generation in return for REGO certificates that can be transferred to the purchaser of the electricity to prove its origin.
Member States of the European Union need to have a scheme to certify the origin of their renewable energy.
How Does the REGO Scheme Work?
The REGO scheme operates by the issuing of REGO certificates for every eligible megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable electricity generated. The certificates are issued once the eligible renewable generator has submitted their eligible generation through the Renewables and Combined Heat and Power Register.
The certificates are issued through the register system and they can be transferred to other companies that are also registered users on the Renewable and Combined Heat and Power Register.
The energy supplier purchasing the REGO certified electricity then uses the REGO certificates to prove the origin of its renewable energy. Ofgem redeemed the REGO certificates when the energy suppliers submit their annual fuel mix disclosure.
New applicants to the REGO scheme need to apply through the Renewables and Combined Heat and Power Register. Once certified the renewable energy generators will need to start submitting their eligible generation through the register to be issued the REGO certificates.
Why is the REGO Scheme Needed?
The primary reason for the REGO scheme is to authenticate the origin of the renewable energy to allow the energy suppliers to prove the level of renewable electricity in their fuel mix.
This is important for both evidencing the proportion to the government and to the EU to meet the renewable energy targets in a clear and transparent way. It also helps the energy suppliers to prove the renewable electricity origin to the end users who may want evidence for personal assurance or to help business users to evident their environmental credentials.
It also helps Ofgem to clearly see the movement of renewable electricity in the UK through how they manage the REGO certificates through the Renewables and Combined Heat and Power Register.
The promotion and awareness of the REGO scheme also help to increase the need and demand for certified renewable energy, and therefore it supports renewable electricity generators.
Who is Eligible for the REGO scheme?
Any renewable energy generator in Great Britain and Northern Ireland of any size can apply to the REGO scheme for certification. Applications to the scheme for accreditation need to be made through the Renewables and Combined Heat and Power Register.
Who administers the REGO scheme?
Ofgem is responsible for the administration of the REGO scheme on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in Great Britain, and for the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR) in Northern Ireland.
Ofgem administers the scheme through the Renewable and Combined Heat and Power Register where all eligible renewable energy generators apply for their certification, are certified, submit their eligible energy generation, issued REGO certificates, and transfer the certificates to registered purchasers.
The Renewable and Combined Heat and Power Register also manages the Renewable Obligation and the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) schemes which allow renewable energy generators to apply for all the schemes at the same time on one application.
Part of Ofgem’s role in administering the scheme is to report on the figures and compliance of the scheme to the HM Revenue and Customs and BEIS. They also publish the annual Fuel Mix Disclosure information.
What is the Fuel Mix Disclosure?
The electricity fuel mix disclosure was introduced in 2005 as a result of the Electricity (Fuel Mix Disclosure) Regulations. This placed a requirement for all Great Britain electricity suppliers to disclose what the fuel mix was for the electricity they supply.
This data must be provided annually to Ofgem by 1 October for the period 1 April – 31 March. The renewable energy information can then be verified through the REGO certificates. Once verified Ofgem mark the certificates as redeemed before it publishes the Fuel Mix Disclosure.
Are There Any Other Related Schemes for Renewable Energy Generators?
There are a couple of schemes that are related to the REGO scheme which are beneficial to renewable energy generators. Depending on the size of the project and its generation output whether the Renewable Obligation or Feed-in Tariff applies to them.
Projects under 5MW are eligible for the Feed-in Tariff, except combined heat and power which is 2kW, projects above this would have applied for Renewable Obligation Certificates up to 31 March 2017.
Some projects yet to be commissioned may still be eligible for the Renewable Obligation if it was pre-approved. The Renewable Obligation continues to run for those renewable energy generators approved for a fixed period. All new larger scale renewable electricity generation projects now have to bid for support through the Contract for Difference auctions.
Renewable energy generators up to 1 August 2015 were also eligible for Levy Exemption Certificates which gave the end-user exemption from the Climate Change Levy (CCL) for the energy generated from eligible renewable energy sources.
There is also a similar EU scheme called EU Guarantees of Origin (GoOs) which certifies renewable energy generation within the EU. Energy suppliers in Great Britain may also hold these GoOs and use these to evidence the proportion of renewable energy in their electricity fuel mix.