The market share of green electricity has increased dramatically in recent years in Germany. Electricity consumers need to be confident that the green electricity they pay for does in fact come from renewable sources. Guarantees of origin (GO) prove the origin of renewable energy in a transparent way and provide electricity consumers the necessary reliability.
The mandatory electricity disclosure that electricity supplier are required to carry out (in accordance with section 42 of the German Energy Industry Act (EnWG)) provides customers with important information concerning their electricity consumption. Since January 2013 electricity supplier may only disclose renewable electricity on electricity bills and advertisement if they have cancelled GOs for the delivered amount of energy proving the renewable origin in the Herkunftsnachweisregister (Register of Guarantees of Origin; German acronym: HKNR). This measure makes disclosure more reliable and prevents electricity suppliers from double selling renewable energy.
When registering for HKNR, bear in mind that in most cases a post office PostIdent procedure needs to be carried out for identification. Therefore, it will take a few days until your registration will be approved and your account will be opened. If you have your permanent domicile outside Germany you may choose either to be identified in a German post office via the PostIdent procedure or to upload an electronic copy of your passport in the HKNR. To register as a natural or legal person, go to the HKNR home page. The registration procedure works as follows (be sure that you have the documents indicated below ready to hand):
Enter all key data concerning the natural or legal person.
Print out a form for the PostIdent process and take it the post office for identification purposes or upload an electronic copy of your passport in the HKNR.
Upload a scan of your Handelsregisterauszug (Commercial Register extract(s)).
If applicable: Download the power of attorney form for account holders or vendors, complete it and then upload the completed form in the HKNR.
Find a quick user guide with detailed information concerning the HKNR registration process on the HKNR homepage.
Information for electricity grid operators
The HKNR obtains power generation data from grid operators. Please note that the strict policy in this regard is “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” In other words, grid operators should not take the initiative to either contact the HKNR or supply it with any data, without being expressly instructed to do so. For information as to how communication with grid operators is carried out, go to Downloads for grid operators ("Downloads", "Netzbetreiber"). For our initial contact with grid operators, we use the data from the database known as the BDEW-Codenummerndatenbank.
The designation of the HKNR dataset for exchanging EDIFACT messages with grid operators is as follows:
GLN: 4399902157025 E-mail: edifact(at)hknr.de
Regulations governing the HKNR
The Register of Guarantees of Origin (HKNR) went into operation on 1 January 2013. The latest Herkunfts- und Regionalnachweis-Durchführungsverordnung (HkRNDV - Guarantees of Origin Implementing Ordinance) and the Herkunfts- und Regionalnachweis-Gebührenverordnung (HkRNGebV - Guarantees of Origin Fees Ordinance) entered into force on 21 November 2018 and were amended since. The previous regulations have thus ceased to apply. The applicable version of these ordinances can be found here (only in German, search with German abbreviation).
Section 79 (4) of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2021) and the Renewable Energy Sources Ordinance (EEV) of 17 February 2015 regulate the operation of the Register of Guarantees of Origin (HKNR) which is established at the Umweltbundesamt (UBA). For further information contact the HKNR office.
Recognition of foreign guarantees of origin
Guarantees of origin (GOs) for electricity from renewable energies are internationally tradable. The Umweltbundesamt (German Environment Agency – UBA) must ensure the reliability, truthfulness and accuracy of GOs and systems for GOs. The criteria that GOs have to comply with are set out in Article 19 of EU Directive 2018/2001/EU. For example, the production period and the energy source for a unit of energy produced must be included in the GO. However, not all requirements can be verified quickly and clearly. For this reason, UBA had verified for selected countries whether GOs from these countries can be recognised in principle. This legal and energy economic investigation was carried out by Becker Büttner Held Rechtsanwälte (BBH) and the Öko-Institut e. V. on behalf of UBA.
The results of the research project can be found under Downloads in the tab "HKN recognition/ GO recognition".
Here you can download documents about information, events and forms concerning the Register of Guarantees of Origin and the Register of Guarantees of Regional Origin. For more downloads (in German) see the German-language page.
The results for the individual states are published in brief summaries in German and English. UBA expressly points out that these brief summaries do not indicate that future requests for GOs from the states concerned will be able to be recognised. Rather, UBA will continue to fulfill its legal obligation to review the recognisability of GOs on a case-by-case basis. The results of the expert assessments published here will be included in these reviews.
All other states that were not selected for the recognition review in the research project will be reviewed by UBA itself. The results will not be published on this website. Therefore, if a state is not listed, this does not automatically exclude recognition.
The UBA’s motto, For our environment (“Für Mensch und Umwelt”), sums up our mission pretty well, we feel. In this video we give an insight into our work.
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