A GCS, also known as Renewable
Energy Certificate (REC) scheme, Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme, Quota
Model, among other names, is a RBM where the utilities or electricity retailers
must comply with a minimum percentage of electricity generated from renewable
energy sources, which they can fulfil by delivering a proper amount of
certificates. (Schaeffer, Boots, Martens, & Voogt, 1999)
At the international level, the
GCSs have demonstrated to be a robust policy instrument used by countries to
increase the share of renewable energy sources in their electricity mix. Among its
different characteristics, Green Certificates:
Serve transparently to obligated entities as a
means to fulfil their renewable energy targets.
Open a new universe of opportunities for a
voluntary demand driven by customers seeking to minimize the environmental
externalities linked to their electricity consumption.
Allow electricity consumers to have access to
renewable electricity even in those locations where there is a limited number
of generation technology options.
Enables end-consumers to claim the use of
renewable electricity at a different time from the moment of generation.
Are accessible in numerous jurisdictions given
the current ample diversity of tracking systems. (Environmental
Protection Agency, 2010)