The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) has launched a Regulatory Policy for Clean Energy Certificates as part of its commitment to drive the transition to a sustainable decarbonized energy sector and marking a foundational step to establish a market for trading renewable and nuclear energy atributes in the emirate.
The Policy sets out the regulations and principles for implementing a clean energy certificates scheme in Abu Dhabi, as a measure to help reduce the carbon footprint associated with power generation while providing a reliable accreditation system that caters to the growing appetite among corporate businesses and households to contribute to the fight against climate change.
Since electricity generated from clean energy sources is indistinguishable from that produced by any other source, such an attribute tracking system is required to validate electricity providers’ and consumers’ claims of using low or zero-emissions electricity, thereby reducing their carbon footprint.
In order to support credible clean energy usage and delivery claims, DoE designed the Clean Energy Certificates scheme based on the internationally recognised attribute tracking system for renewable energy certificates developed by the International Renewable Energy Certificate Standard Foundation (I-REC Standard). An agreement has been signed between both parties, appointing DoE as the accredited I-REC local issuer for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Four key parties have been identified as key enablers for implementing Abu Dhabi’s Clean Energy Certificates scheme. The DoE is the ‘Issuer’, the entity formally authorised to issue Clean Energy Certificates within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi while I-REC Standard is responsible for providing a single central registry platform, the I-REC Registry, where records of the full lifecycle of ownership and use of the issued Clean Energy Certificates are held and maintained. It records all trading transactions, verifies claims, and ensures there is no Clean Energy Certificate double counting.
Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) will act as a Single Registrant for the electricity injected into the grid from DoE licensed generation entities. EWEC will ensure that all generation plants producing clean energy in Abu Dhabi are listed in the I-REC Registry. Businesses or consumers who wish to obtain a clean energy certificate can act as Participants, opening an account in the I-REC Registry platform. The certificates are issued by DoE in units of 1 MW/h upon receiving a request from the Single Registrant. The Participants can then purchase certificates and allocate beneficiaries.
His Excellency. Eng. Mohamed Bin Jarsh Al Falasi, commented: “With heightened alerts about the impacts of climate change and an increased commitment to environment protection by customers and major companies who want their practices to reflect their social responsibility, our Clean Energy Certificates offering is timely and will support end-users in their sustainability goals. We are delighted to launch the Regulatory Policy for Clean Energy Certificates to support the overall integrity of measuring, reporting, and accreditation requirements for the issuance and management of such certificates while ensuring alignment with international practices and additional domestic criteria.”
Clean Energy Certificates are voluntary tradeable financial instruments which certify the purchase of a specific amount of electricity that has been generated from a clean energy source. Once the solar or nuclear energy is fed into the grid, the Clean Energy Certificates can be traded as credits to claim the environmental and social benefits of low carbon energy consumption.
Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said: “EWEC is proud to be playing its role in supporting DoE’s new strategic initiative to decarbonize Abu Dhabi’s electricity value chain. The UAE has an ambitious program of initiatives to take climate action, and EWEC is actively supporting these by leading the change in the energy sector with a focus on sustainability and renewable technologies. EWEC will facilitate the implementation of Abu Dhabi’s Clean Energy Certificates scheme by offering I-REC accredited certificates for sale on a quarterly basis. More details on the process will be released shortly, but in the meantime interested parties can visit the EWEC website for more information on how to participate in this exciting initiative.”
To ensure a non-discriminatory approach to the Clean Energy Certificates scheme, anyone can act as a Participant and can purchase the certificates and sell them in whole or in part to end customers. The Single Registrant can also act as a Participant with prior approval from DoE. This allows anyone, from large corporations to smaller environmentally conscious businesses, to benefit from the system, regardless of their level of consumption. Anyone can buy certificates that guarantee that the electricity they consume does not emit CO2.
Unlike I-REC systems in other regions, the DoE will not charge a fee for acting as a local Issuer, which will allow customers to benefit from the certificates at very competitive prices.