Demand for renewable power documented with guarantees of origin (GOs) in Europe has surged 15% during the first half of 2020 despite generally falling energy demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, Norwegian renewables consultancy ECOHZ said, commenting figures from the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB).

“The demand for renewable energy documented with guarantees of origin shows record growth during the first half of 2020, despite the negative effect Covid-19 is having on global and local economies,” ECOHZ managing director Tom Lindberg said.

“The fact that especially corporate demand for renewables seems unaffected is truly inspiring during these unusual and trying times.”

Demand for renewables with a GO reached 530 terawatt hours at the end of the first half of 2020, which is the highest half-year figure ever recorded, he added.

ECOHZ noted that second half figures traditionally show significantly lower volumes, so that figures for all of 2020 won’t automatically be double of those of the first half.

EU policies help

Nevertheless, the consultancy also expects record full-year figures, with much of the growth coming from strong ambitions among a growing group of corporates with extensive energy use. Policy advancements, such as the EU’s new renewable directive that strengthens and clarifies the use of GOs, will also help.

European countries such as the Netherlands also are implementing various forms of full disclosure policies at the energy consumer level.

New platforms for allowing access to renewables have also appeared this year and last year.

“Also, on a positive note is the inclusion of four new AIB countries in 2020 – Serbia, Slovakia, Greece and Portugal. These countries have contributed little to the volume growth so far in 2020 but will likely have a positive effect moving forward,” Lindberg said.

The market of GOs is strongly skewed towards hydro power, which last year accounted for 61% of supply, followed by wind power with 23%, bioenergy with 9%, solar with 5%, and geothermal with 2%.

Renewable power without GOs in Europe on average has a different composition, led by wind, solar and biomass.