White certificates: What are they and what are they good for?

In our RESD course we hear a lot about environmental policies and how they get applied in the real world. One of them are white certificates.

The main aim of this kind of certificates is to lower the energy consumption by installing a market to trade them relatively freely and doing so to achieve a certain target of energy savings. Relatively because this market is usually not meant for private persons but for the cluster of energy producers and large scale consumers.

White certificates are given to producers that save a certain amount of energy, this certificate can then be sold to others that are not able to meet the predefined targets. This concept is very similar to emission trading, that we already showed you in some previous posts (Emission Trading Part I and Emission Trading Part II). The theory behind both this systems is to let regulate the market trough pricing and its supply/demand characteristics a certain output at least cost.

Energy certificates are quite a big deal here in Europe: since 2005 several countries started a white tag trading scheme (like France, Denmark, Poland, UK, Netherlands, Italy ecc.)

Especially here in Italy the Certificati bianchi are of major importance in the energy market.

but also in the United States similar systems get applied in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Nevada.
In the last years also voluntary markets for efficiency certificates are emerging, the most important is for sure  is www.starlingplanet.com that provides a market for renewable energy certificates.

Next week I will write about another very similar kind of certificate, the so called Green Certificates that are gonna substitute the white ones in the future.

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