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Addendum to the post

The preamble, as described in the article, is legal under EU directives. Renowned newspapers, like the Financial Times, have already written about these misleading claims in other European countries.

Do the Guarantees of Origin promote green energy?

It is estimated that over 75% of GO products come from old hydro plants from Scandinavia and cost between 0.5 and 3 € per megawatt hour (MWh). By comparison, the market price of electricity was at over 40 € per MWh for 2018 so that these GOs, from an economic point of view, are not significant to keep these works running or promoting them.

This is also not the goal of the GOs. The GO system should allow informed consumers, not just based on electricity prices, to signal their preference for renewable energy in the market. It is, however, also for many electricity suppliers a cheap mean to buy “green”.

How green is the Luxembourgish power mix?

The German, French and Belgian mix also includes renewable energy, so that not all the imported electricity is disruptive. France is at 21%, Germany at 38% and Belgium at 19% for electricity from renewable sources. If these numbers are combined with the import statistic, one will reach a percentage of 39% - so we are not in the dimensions of 55%, as is possible by the practice of the GO.

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Can electricity be imported from the GO countries (e.g. Iceland or Norway)?

Effectively, the Scandinavian countries have power cables with Germany, and Germany with Luxembourg, so that the electricity could flow theoretically. To date, however, there is only 1 interconnector between Germany and Sweden. Another, between Germany and Norway, should be operating this or next year, but plays no role in the historical accounts. And even if such cables do exist, the German electricity network does not allow enough electricity to flow from the North to the South within the country.

Does such a system promote the green energy balance at the European level?

One could effectively argue that the GO or EU-level statistical transfers encourage the goal of renewable energy – to have it built where there are the best conditions. This may be theoretically true (practically the mechanisms are too cheap), but the electricity from the power socket  will not run green everywhere through to such practices. For example, offshore windfarms can be built in the Northern Sea that could supply electricity throughout Europe - but without cables down to Southern Europe, this mechanism remains inefficient.

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