The E-TRACK Project (phase I)

E-TRACK factsheet [pdf, opens in new window, 81KB]
     E-TRACK introduction [pdf, opens in new window, 42KB]

Background | Objectives | Results | Work programme | Project schedule

Systems for the allocation of generation attributes to electricity suppliers and consumers respectively are required in order to facilitate a variety of policies on the European and Member State level. This includes:

  • Guarantees of Origin for electricity from renewable energy sources or high efficiency cogeneration (Directives 2001/77/EC and 2004/8/EC)

  • Labelling schemes for electricity, which provide details about the overall fuel mix of the supplier and the respective environmental impact to final consumers (Directive 2003/54/EC)

The implementation of such “tracking” systems for electricity can also facilitate the promotion of renewable energy sources and high-efficiency cogeneration in the internal market for electricity. Reliability and harmonisation of these tracking schemes across Europe are keystones for the development of the internal electricity market.

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The project provides a detailed insight into the requirements for the design and operation of tracking systems, which are set by European and Member States legislation as well as by market participants.

The major result of the project is a blueprint of a harmonised standard for tracking electricity attributes in Europe, which covers technical aspects (e.g. database and interface specifications) and non-technical issues, such as institutions and processes involved.

This standard is developed based on thorough research as well as intensive stakeholder consultations, in order to ensure its suitability for practical implementation

The major benefits of such a tracking standard are that electricity attributes can easily be accounted for in the internal market; problems with double counting of attributes (e.g. from renewable energy sources) can be avoided; verification of tracking procedures can be simplified and cross-border trade of electricity with attributes is facilitated.

We expect that at the end of the project, government officials and stakeholders in all participating countries and in several other European countries are aware of the benefits of a harmonised tracking standard in Europe.

This website will remain fully operational for at least two years after the end of the project.

Strategic impact of the action
The intended long-term impact of the project is to contribute to an internal market for electricity which reflects the attributes of electricity generation and therefore allows market participants to give appropriate value to different energy sources and generation technologies. The major benefits of the tracking standard will be that electricity attributes can easily be accounted for in the market and cross-border trade of electricity with attributes will be enhanced. Current problems with double counting of attributes (e.g. from renewable energy sources) can be avoided and verification of tracking procedures can be simplified. This will allow 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 electricity from RES or 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. For example, the electricity generation volume which has been supported by one of the schemes can be allocated to final consumers based on the tracking standard. Similarly, the cost for these support schemes could be allocated to final consumers. However, the tracking standard will not predetermine policy decisions such as the design of support instruments for electricity from RES or cogeneration or the relationship of cross-border transfers in RES electricity to the indicative targets set by Directive 2001/77/EC.

The potential effect of the project to the expansion of RES electricity and increased energy savings through cogeneration can not be estimated easily at this point in time. The 4C Electricity project has estimated the CO2 savings from electricity labelling schemes in Europe in the range of 10 million tonnes per year. The effect of the E-TRACK Project can be much higher, because the tracking standard not only supports labelling of electricity, rather it also helps to improve the functionality of support schemes for electricity from RES and cogeneration. Because of the inclusion of cogeneration, the project will also have a positive impact on the heat market, and might enhance the market share of cogeneration based on biomass. A detailed estimate of the potential impact of a comprehensive tracking system in Europe was performed in the course of the project as part of work package 7.

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Work programme overview

  Work package subject Leader Leader
WP 1 Analysis of existing allocation schemes ECN
WP 2 Analysis of the framework conditions for tracking ECN
WP 3 Non-technical system specifications Oeko-Institut
WP 4 Technical system specifications Pure Energi
WP 5 Cost Assessment AEA
WP 6 Consultation Process Oeko-Institut
WP 7 Finalisation of system specifications AEA
WP 8 Dissemination IT Power
WP 9 Common Dissemination Activities Oeko-Institut
WP 10 Project Co-ordination Oeko-Institut

Project Coordination Oeko-Institut

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Project Schedule
The project timetable was divided into four major phases. While the project continued until September 2007, many of the results were presented in early 2007- the first reports were finalized in March 2006.

  • Project inception phase (January – May 2005)

  • Draft design phase (June – December 2005)

  • Review phase (January – December 2006)

  • Dissemination phase (January – September 2007)

The follow-up project called E-TRACK II starts in October 2007, and will continue to monitor the tracking systems in European Member States, as well as the stakeholder negotiations, with a specific focus on consumer's interests.

See a list of participating countries.

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Site partners: Oeko Institute, ECN, Cogen Europe, IT Power, ObservER, LEI, BET, E-Control, Energy Agency of the Republic of Slovenia.
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