The Guarantees of Origin of Electricity

The Guarantees of Origin of Electricity

19 Apr, 2022

By definition, the Guarantee of Origin (GO) is an electronic certification attesting to the renewable origin of the sources used by qualified plants. The issuing of GOs is done by the GSE, the Energy Services Manager, the institutional body in charge of promoting and developing renewable energy sources and disseminating the culture of 'green' energy use.

For each MWh of electricity from renewable sources fed into the grid by these plants, the GSE issues a GO title, which can be managed, transferred and cancelled electronically via the dedicated web portal.

GOs have been present in European directives on renewables since 2001.
In Italy, however, they have only been integrated since 2011, within the ARERA measure on green offers. Since 1 January 2013, they have been recognised as the only means to certify the energy produced from renewable sources in an operator's energy mix.

What are they for?

The purpose of these certificates is to guarantee the renewable origin of the energy supplied by operators to end consumers.

In order to do so, they must proceed with a cancellation operation of the GOs on their property account, thereby generating a Cancellation Certificate, on which all the information about the GOs used, the manager cancelling them and the consumer using them will be present.
The GSE's fully electronic management also prevents the same energy from being supplied to multiple customers.
Furthermore, GOs are also a valuable tool for companies to communicate their environmental commitment.

With GOs, it is possible to certifiably communicate a commitment to reduce one's GHG emissions as an internationally recognised method of reducing so-called category or scope 2 emissions (from grid electricity offtake).
This way, the company is not actually using electricity from renewable sources produced within the company itself at that precise moment.

However, these instruments ensure that in another place and in a relatively short period of time (maximum one year), an equivalent amount of energy has been generated from a renewable source and that this is not used by any other consumer.

How to obtain them?

Any energy consumer can apply to their electricity supplier to declare the use of energy from renewable sources. The operator will then simply have to cancel an equivalent quantity of GOs in its possession in favour of the consumer.
However, GOs have a cost and this has risen particularly sharply in recent months, as can be seen from the price trend shown in Figure 1.


GOs are transferred from producers to sales companies, also through traders, via platforms set up by the GME (Gestore Mercati Energetici -Energy Market Provider) or via dedicated auctions. It is evident how on the market platform the price per GO has increased by 450% in the last 12 months. At auctions, however, the price increased from around EUR 0.75 in September 2021 to over EUR 2 in June 2022.

Alternatively, if the consumer has a plant that feeds some or all of the energy produced into the grid, this could be further enhanced and qualified with GOs and then used in a variety of ways.

In the case of a sales company or trader, for example, GO can be sold together with the energy produced, which is then supplied as “renewable energy” to customers.
Alternatively, certification can be sold separately, completely unrelated to energy, to interested consumers. Finally, the producer can use them to meet its sustainability commitments. The advantages, in this case, are both in terms of cost savings and communication, as it can claim to indirectly use energy produced by itself.

IGO qualification

In order to obtain GOs from your plant, you must follow the IGO qualification procedures outlined by the GSE.
IGOs are understood to be the identification of plants fuelled by renewable sources for the purpose of issuing the Guarantee of Origin. It is a qualification that has an unlimited duration in time, which must then be followed up simply by managing the generated GOs themselves, transferring, cancelling or selling them.

With the market price trend, depending on the amount of energy produced and fed into the grid, the benefits the company would gain are mainly as follows:

  • Less dependence on price fluctuations in this market;
  • Guaranteed annual financial savings;
  • Possibility to communicate that part or all of the purchased renewable energy is produced directly by the company itself.

With the support of Manni Energy, it is possible to identify the advantages that the qualification of plants could give the company and to follow the IGO qualification activity, according to the GSE guidelines.
All this can then also be the start of a carbon management pathway to manage emissions and achieve ambitious goals such as decarbonisation and proper reporting of commitments and achievements.

For information: or visit our website.

Written by

Raffaele Bulgarelli - Digital Marketing Expert at Manni Group
Raffaele Bulgarelli - Digital Marketing Expert at Manni Group

Raffaele, Digital Marketing Expert of Manni Group, works in synergy with Isopan, gaining insight into the technical world of sandwich panels and keeping pace with the latest trends in the building industry. Thanks to his training in Architecture, he has a keen eye for online topics and activities involving designers and architects.

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