The E-TRACK Project - phase II

Background | Objectives | Work programme | Expected results

With Directives 96/02/EC and 2003/54/EC, the EU has introduced liberalisation of the electricity markets in its Member States and has created the framework for an internal European market for electricity.

Directives 2001/77/EC and 2004/8/EC contain regulations on Guarantees of Origin, which serve to enable producers to demonstrate that the electricity they sell is produced from renewable energy sources or high efficiency cogeneration.

Directive 2003/54/EC requires suppliers to provide details about their fuel mix and the respective environmental impact (disclosure).

Disclosing a fuel mix or a green power product requires a procedure to track electricity generation “attributes”, such as fuel type, CO2 emissions etc.. from generators to electricity suppliers and their customers. Support systems for RES electricity and high efficiency cogeneration may require similar allocation systems. Such accounting systems can significantly contribute to transparency for the consumer’s choice and to improved market functioning.
Harmonisation of such tracking schemes across Europe is a keystone for the development of a transparent internal European market for electricity.

The E-TRACK project, which was terminated in June 2007, has successfully developed a blueprint for a European tracking standard. Principles of the standard have been taken over by several countries. However, tracking systems used in Europe are still far from being coordinated, and double counting and other errors can occur, which compromises the reliability of information provided to consumers and other actors.

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Based on the results from the E-TRACK project, the proposed action will continue the process of harmonisation of tracking systems across Europe with the objective to make their results more accurate and reliable. New elements compared to Phase I of the project :
• Focus on the integration of the new GO for cogeneration
• Focus on the specific requirements from new Member States
• Support to consumer organisations in defining their requirements on tracking systems and the related policies,
• Comprehension of the views of non-domestic consumers
• Development of a strategy for a cost effective development and integration of energy-related certification schemes

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Work programme

The work programme is structured in six work packages, which aim at the production of the main results from the project, and three management and communication work packages.

WP 1 (Management) leader Oeko-Institut
• overall project management, quality control and reporting tasks
• relations to the Advisory Group

WP2 (Tracking-related policies) leader IT Power
• update of the inventory and analysis of tracking related policies
• best-practice recommendations for the implementation of tracking-related policies, and an enquiry on the actual impact of the project

WP 3 (Tracking in New Member States)
leader AGEN-RS
• covers the specific requirements of the twelve new Member States and their young electricity markets with regard to tracking of electricity, and develops
• targeted and more detailed recommendations for these countries.

WP 4 (Cogeneration GO)
leader ECN
• analysis of Member States implementation of the Guarantee of Origin for electricity from cogeneration
• definition of best integration modalities in the existing tracking systems in order to avoid the risk of double counting.

WP 5 (Consumer requirements)
leader ECN
• capacity-building activity for European consumer organisations in order to enable them to develop their requirements for tracking systems and related policies.
• exploration of the views of non-domestic consumers

WP 6 (Long-term developments) leader E-Control
• definition of synergies and requirements for future coordination between the tracking systems for electricity, which are the focus of this action, and other energy related certification and allowance schemes
• development of a vision about the long-term future of these systems

WP 7 (Recommendations) leader Oeko-Institut
• integration of all recommendations, which have been developed in previous work packages, into a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for national governments, regulators and the European Commission
• modification of specifications for the tracking standard as appropriate to reflect recent changes in framework conditions and requirements

WP 8 (Communication & Dissemination) leader Observ'ER
• comprehensive consultation process covering 29 European countries, which will disseminate early results from the project and provide important feedback to the project team.
• implementation of a variety of additional dissemination activities

WP 9 (Common Dissemination Activities) leader Oeko-Institut
• implementation of specific dissemination activities as requested by the EACI

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Expected results
Phase I of the E-TRACK project produced a blueprint for a tracking standard for electricity in Europe, which mainly consists of a combination of two elements:

• an explicit tracking system based on registries, in which the ownership of attributes of instances of electricity generation is recorded
• a “residual mix”, which represents all attributes of power generation in a certain region, minus all attributes which have been allocated through the explicit tracking system, and adjusted by imports and exports.

Compared to these results, the second phase of E-TRACK will have the following added value:

• A continued monitoring of the implementation of tracking-related policies in Europe, including the new GO for HE-CHP;
• An in-depth analysis of the challenges in implementing the GO for HE-CHP in Europe
• A focused analysis of the specific requirements from new Member States and their young electricity markets
• A capacity-building action with European consumer organisations, supporting them in the development of their own requirements for the tracking standard
• A consultation with stakeholders about the E-TRACK standard and tracking-related policies in the 29 European countries
• A long-term strategy for the further development of energy-related certification schemes and their potential integration
• A further development of the recommendations for governments on improvements and coordination of tracking-related policies, and of the E-TRACK standard as required by changes in market conditions and legislation
• Continuation of the dissemination activities with the objective to support the actual implementation of the E-TRACK standard in Europe.

Long term results

Similar to Phase I of the E-TRACK project, the intended long-term impact of the action is to contribute to the development of an internal market for electricity which reflects the attributes of electricity generation and therefore allows market participants to provide their customers with reliable information about the sources of electricity and will foster market transparency.

At the same time, the tracking standard will facilitate a variety of support schemes for RES-E and from cogeneration, such as feed-in systems, quota obligations or tax exemptions. Based on the tracking standard, these support schemes can be implemented in a way that is compatible with the requirements of the electricity market.

The tracking standard not only supports labelling of electricity, it also helps to improve the functionality of support schemes for electricity from RES and cogeneration. Because of the inclusion of high-efficient cogeneration, the project will also have a positive impact on the heat market, and might enhance the market share of cogeneration based on biomass.

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