International Renewable Energy Certificate (I-REC)
International Renewable Energy Certificate (I-REC) is a tracking certificate, similar to GOs, used to document and report energy coming from renewable energy sources. The I-RECs can be implemented in any country that does not have a similar scheme in place, and it is internationally recognized.
What is the I-REC Standard?
The I-REC Standard governs the I-REC operations, reviews and authorizes new issuance countries. The I-REC Standard provides a list of rules, regulations and best practices, forming the I-REC Code. The I-REC Code provides the blueprints for a standardized attribute tracking system that countries issuing I-RECs must follow. It can be implemented in any country or region.
How does it work?
Like European Guarantees of Origin (GO), the I-REC is issued per one MWh of renewable energy produced. An I-REC is electronically issued by the I-REC registry based on renewable energy generators’ output. The process is as follows:
- Renewable electricity is generated
- Tracking certificates (I-RECs) are issued for the generated electricity*
- I-RECs are registered in the I-REC registry
- The I-REC is purchased by the end-user, who uses it to document the renewable origin of the electricity consumed. The I-REC is cancelled in the registry when the consumer claims it, to avoid double counting.
*A third party must verify the information before issuing.
The end-user can decide which kind (e.g. solar power) of renewable energy to buy. The standardized tracking system makes it easy to track ownership and certify that the I-REC is only sold one time.
Why is it useful?
I-RECs for energy attribute tracking is easily implemented, and more countries are implementing I-RECs. This way, consumers outside Europe and Northern Europe get access to reliable and tradable tracking certificates for renewable energy. The market-based instrument, like the European GOs, sends a strong signal of environmental and sustainable focus, and proves commitment to a low carbon future.
Who are the authorized issuance countries?
This list is continuously updated by the I-REC Standard. As of January 2019, these are the authorized countries:
- South Africa