Renewable energy is energy from sources that rapidly replenish themselves or the use of which does not deplete the source. In addition to hydropower, which is a traditional source of energy in Switzerland, biomass, geothermal power, solar power and wind power are also classed as «renewable energies».
Swissgrid manages the payment of cost-covering remuneration for feed-in to the electricity grid (CRF) on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SOFE). This remuneration was introduced on 1 May 2008 with the aim of increasing the proportion of renewable energies in Switzerland. The CRF supports those producers whose installations generate electricity from renewable sources.
As part of its electricity labelling obligation, Swissgrid operates the guarantee of origin system which ensures the flow of information from producers to end consumers, making it considerably easier for electricity suppliers to fulfil their statutory obligations.
Guarantees of origin certify that a given quantity of electricity has been produced by a defined energy source. At present, guarantees of origin are only issued for renewable energy sources. However, before a production plant can be issued with guarantees of origin, it must be registered in the guarantee of origin system.