|Box 4.6 Green Power Certification|
| Green power schemes are now operating in many developed countries including
Australia, USA, the Netherlands, UK and Germany. The schemes were encouraged
by government policy to encourage renewable energy but growth prospects
are considerable as a result of liberalisation of electricity markets whereby
the opportunity exists for power companies to exploit consumers' environmental
values. Operating frameworks require cooperation, though not necessarily
formal regulation, between parties. Voluntary arrangements operating so
far have avoided possible conflicts with international trade regulation.
If premium prices are being paid, it is essential to establish a verification
system, which involves an independent and credible certification procedure.
Consumers are only prepared to pay a premium if they have confidence in
Serious marketing issues have arisen with most schemes. How 'green' is green'? There has been resistance to the use of large scale hydro plants in Canada and Sweden. Energy recovery from incineration has been criticised for being classified as a renewable technology. Furthermore, schemes may not necessarily result in the creation of new capacity, and may merely result in the proportion of 'brown' power rising for the non-premium paying consumers. Plausible schemes are also thought to include requirements for energy efficiency advice. When schemes are certified, should the overall environmental performance of the company be assessed at the same time? Until there is general agreement, consumers can be confused by competing marketing information and these issues could delay internationalisation of these initiatives.
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