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The revised version of the Renewable Energies Directive has been in force in the EU since the end of 2018. It must be implemented into national law by the EU member states and states of the European Economic Area (EEA), such as Norway, by mid 2021. In the electricity sector, this includes the non-recognition of guarantees of origin (HCN) from third countries without an agreement with the EU. Without an electricity agreement, Switzerland will therefore no longer be able to export HCNs to other European countries from mid 2021. The electricity sector has therefore discussed the question of whether Switzerland should no longer recognise European HCNs in the future. Today, HCNs for around 16 TWh are imported from the EU and above all from Norway. These account for around a quarter of the HCNs used for electricity labelling in Switzerland.

In May the SFOE decided to continue the recognition of the European HCN. Although the domestic HCN market could have been supported if the recognition of European HCNs had been cancelled, the SFOE decided to continue the recognition of European HCNs. However, if a sufficient number of domestic HCNs were no longer available in the medium term, the price of HCNs might have risen uncontrollably. In addition, the freedom of choice would have been severely restricted, especially for large consumers. Today, they can import electricity from fossil power plants in the EU with so-called substitute certificates.

In a survey conducted by the SFOE among power plant operators and energy-intensive industries (large consumers), the participants clearly expressed their support for an electricity agreement with the EU. The SFOE is also of the opinion that an electricity agreement should restore the mutual recognition of HCNs. With the planned introduction of a "green default" in the revision of the Electricity Supply Act (StromVG), which obliges electricity suppliers to use only domestic HCNs for renewable electricity for the basic supply, the domestic market for renewable HCNs can be strengthened without negatively influencing the process of electricity negotiations with the EU.

Lukas Gutzwiller, Specialist Energy Supply and Monitoring

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