Barely 50% of the renewable energy purchased in Belgium is produced locally. In fact the Belgian suppliers supplement their own capacity to produce “green electricity” by buying “guarantee of origin” (GO) labels Le Soir reported on Tuesday. Electricity from renewable sources accounts for 26% of the supply in Wallonia, 29% in Flanders and 45% in Brussels, which is above Belgium’s production capacity. To compensate, Belgian suppliers buy GO labels, an instrument of EU legislation.
Whenever a producer produces 1 MWh of green electricity, he receives a GO label, which he can then sell on to a European supplier. The end user who has signed a “100% green” contract with that supplier is therefore assured that the electricity they are using has been produced in a renewable manner.
These labels however are not necessarily an engine for renewable development. Some 38% of the green electricity bought in Belgium originates in Scandinavia, and supply on the European market is greater than demand, which depresses the price of these labels, disincentivising suppliers who might want to enter the green energy market.