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Guarantees of origin

Guarantees of origin

Gasgrid Finland is responsible for maintaining the voluntary biogas certificate system. With the regulations under preparation, Gasgrid Finland Oy will become the registrar of the renewable gas guarantee of origin system. On this page we will inform you about the development of the system. 

What is the gas guarantee of origin system?

According to the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), it must be possible to guarantee the origin of energy to end-users when it comes to demonstrating the share or amount of energy from renewable sources. This is done by granting guarantees of origin corresponding to the production output of energy from renewable sources and, accordingly, by withdrawing the guarantee in question when said amount of energy is released for final use.

The guarantee of origin system has so far only been used in electricity. The obligations under the guarantee of origin system will also apply to gases from renewable energy sources. Operators must obtain guarantees of origin if they have informed the gas end-user that they will supply the user with gas from renewable energy sources. An exception to this are biogas certificates that are currently in use to demonstrate that the gas originates from renewable energy sources likely until the end of 2021.

Progression of the Guarantee of Origin System

Preparation of the gas guarantee of origin system in Finland – situation on 18 June 2021

HE 87/2021 vp Act on Guarantees of Origin of Energy has been issued to Parliament on 12 May 2021. On 18 June 2021, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy has announced that the consideration of the bill will continue in Parliament during the autumn session. In practice, this means that the start of issuing guarantees of origin under the proposed law is delayed. The current estimate is that the law could enter into force approximately in October at the earliest.

Gasgrid Finland Oy will maintain the gas guarantee of origin system in Finland. Gasgrid Finland Oy will introduce the electronic system required by the guarantee of origin register during the rest of the year. The further consideration of the bill in the autumn will also examine the transitional provisions included in the bill, for example, on the commencement of the obligation to certify new types of guarantees of origin and on the deadline for registry administrators to introduce a register of guarantees of origin.

Gas guarantees of origin are granted for gases and hydrogen from renewable energy sources produced in Finland. The guarantee of gas origin system is open to producers of gas and hydrogen from renewable energy sources, gas users and market participants, regardless of whether the gas is fed into the natural gas network or produced or used outside the natural gas network. The Act on Guarantees of Origin of Energy will include exceptions in situations where the operator does not have to obtain guarantees of origin.

Joining the gas guarantee of origin system requires an agreement with Gasgrid Finland Oy. Access to the gas guarantee of origin system will be possible and the actual processing of guarantees of origin will probably start during the rest of the year.

Transfer of gas guarantees of origin between countries – situation on 7 May 2021

Gas guarantees of origin can be transferred between EU countries if the guarantees of origin to be transferred meet the legal requirements for guarantees of origin. In the initial phase, Gasgrid Finland Oy processes transfer requests on a case-by-case basis, as there are no agreements with the administrators of guarantees of origin in different countries regarding the requirements and arrangements related to the transfer.

At least at the initial stage, it is not possible to transfer gas guarantees of origin between Finland and non-EU countries.

Relationship between the gas guarantee of origin and the biogas certificate system – situation on 18 June 2021

At a notification of a biogas certificate holder, Gasgrid Finland Oy may, when the guarantee of origin legislation becomes effective or thereafter, convert a biogas certificate registered in the biogas certificate register to a guarantee of origin. A biogas certificate holder’s notice must likely be submitted by the latest on 31 December 2021. In addition, Gasgrid Finland Oy will cancel biogas certificates that have been converted to guarantees of origin if they have not been used within 18 months of the last production date of energy corresponding to the guarantee of origin.

The current biogas certificate system is to be phased out when there is no longer a need for biogas certificates. The last biogas certificates are expected to be issued for biogas produced on 31.12.2021. The biogas certificate system would thus be run down by the end of June 2023 at the latest.

Gas guarantee of origin and excise duties – situation on 7 May 2021

Current tax practices are likely to remain in place until the end of 2021. According to the current draft of the government proposal, biogas certificates could be used until the end of 2021 for consumers as an indication that the gas originates from renewable energy sources.

Gas guarantee of origin and emissions trading

The Energy Authority decides on the utilization of gas guarantees of origin in the emissions trading system.

The rules of the guarantee of origin system open for commenting until 20 August 2021

A draft version of the rules of the guarantee of origin system is ready for comments. The comment round seeks feedback, which is taken into account in the further work of the rules. A formal consultation will take place in autumn by the Energy Agency, when the next version based on the comments will be submitted to the Energy Agency and the law on guarantees of energy origin has been passed.

There are still some open issues and things in the draft version that may be described in more detail later. Open issues are marked in the document. The rules do not apply to guarantees of origin for other uses (eg taxation or emissions trading). Guidance on these comes from other authorities. The rules also do not describe transitional practices, they are agreed separately (for example, possible retroactive issuance during the transitional period or conversion of certificates). Pricing principles are described in a separate document.

You will find the document on the right side of this section under the name “Gasgrid Biogas GO Rules”. The commenting period is open until Friday, August 20, 2021. Commenting can be done in Finnish or English directly in the rules document or, alternatively, in a separate document or directly by e-mail so that the feedback can be clearly read and interpreted. Comments are requested to be sent by e-mail to biokaasusertifikaatti@gasgrid.fi, where you can also send any questions.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the guarantee of origin system

The current biogas certificate system will continue to operate until at least the end of 2021.

The new system will be available for registering from 1 October 2021 at the earliest. Information and training events will be held in May-June 2021.

Guarantees of origin have no role in excise duties in 2021.

Guarantees of origin will be accompanied by additional information on the origin of the gas and the support schemes targeted at it, so this is possible.

Retrospectively during the fall of 2021 starting from June 30, 2021, but not earlier than October 1, 2021.

They remain in force and are later used as biogas certificates or converted into guarantees of origin, in which case the biogas certificate is cancelled and replaced by a corresponding guarantee of origin. The latter is possible by the deadline mentioned in the transitional provision of the Act on Guarantees of Origin of Energy, provided that the draft transitional provision is adopted as law.

For them, it should be demonstrated that they are guarantees of origin in accordance with the legislation on guarantees of origin, in order for the guarantees of origin to be transferable to Finland.

Sustainability should be verified separately from guarantees of origin as before. It is still undecided whether sustainability information should or could be included in the guarantees of origin as additional information. Further information will be provided when the update of the CEN-EN 16325 standard on guarantees of origin is published.

Gasgrid issues guarantees of origin once a month based on the biogas production time series. For biogas fed into the distribution and transmission networks, Gasgrid obtains the necessary information directly from its own systems. There is currently no guidance on how to deliver the time series to Gasgrid for offgrid production.

The party needs to register as an account holder with the guarantee of origin system, in connection with which a service agreement is signed with Gasgrid. The service agreement gives the account holder access to the account holder’s user interface for the guarantee of origin system and allows Gasgrid to charge the account holder for service fees related to the guarantee of origin system. In addition, the biogas producer is required to verify the origin of the energy before Gasgrid can issue guarantees of origin. The verification must be carried out by an assessment body approved by the Energy Authority, which will issue a verification certificate (if a verification certificate already exists, e.g. for a sustainability system, a new verification may not be required). The certificate of verification must include confirmation that the energy produced by the biogas production plant qualifies for the guarantee of origin.

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