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?
The the I-REC Standard website maintains an interactive map
showing the authorised issuing countries, with links to country specific information. As of 2020, there are over 20 countries, located mainly in Asia, Africa, South America and Central America.