What if you could only write checks to people or businesses that had an account in your same bank? Even if the bank provided excellent services, such a constraint would slow business and increase transaction costs. That is the situation today with energy tracking systems. They have been well designed for their initial purpose, to serve one or more state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) programs, but they don’t allow their customers to exchange certificates with those whose accounts are in another system or who may be involved in energy programs outside their region. Today, tracking systems are seeing changing and evolving demands for their services with the growth of the voluntary renewable energy market, the emergence of new state RPS programs (and the expansion and evolution of existing ones), as well as the convergence of the energy and carbon markets.
The goal of the Environmental Tracking Network of North America (ETNNA) is to act as a forum to exchange ideas and information, and to facilitate the development of new services to individual states/provinces in North America, as well as regional and national markets. ETNNA is designed to bring together tracking system representatives with governmental, community and voluntary market participants to engage in dialogue to increase compatibility between systems and better support both compliance and voluntary markets. ETNNA and its tracking system members are policy and technology neutral. We recognize and appreciate that each regional tracking system has its own unique needs. ETNNA was created to help facilitate changes required to meet new and emerging regional needs as well as the existing ones. Moreover, should a Federal Renewable Portfolio Standard or other type of national energy, environmental program or mandate be put into place, a national network of tracking systems would be needed to support that policy.
The basis for such a national network already exists in the tracking systems that have been created. There is no need to duplicate efforts and costs. But additional work will be required to seamlessly weave the existing systems together in a manner that supports the state/provincial and regional programs for which they were originally created as well as supporting new national activities. ETNNA provides a forum for collaboration between these tracking systems, stakeholders and government agencies to discuss common issues, identify best practices and design solutions to common problems.
The predecessor to ETNNA (the North American Association of Issuing Bodies Working Group) primarily focused on compatibility issues among the electricity tracking systems. Though our current work is with electricity tracking systems, ETNNA’s mission has broadened to include the option of working with emissions registries and emissions tracking entities in the future should that be desirable and useful because the electricity and carbon marketplaces are changing so quickly and seem to be converging on several levels. In the future our work could include coordination between electricity tracking systems and emission registries in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
ETNNA is a membership based organization that works with all interested parties to ensure that we are serving the needs of all of our stakeholders. Current funding is from a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant and ETNNA membership dues.top
“To create a forum for the coordination and cooperation of existing and emerging systems issuing, tracking or registering electric generation or conservation certificates or other environmental attributes in North America, and to foster the development of new systems.”
ETNNA Core Values
ETNNA has eight core functions and organizational activities.
- Promote compatibility among existing and emerging certificate issuing or tracking systems in North America.
- Convene representatives of North American issuing or tracking systems on a regular basis to discuss common issues and resolve common problems.
- Maintain an aggregated renewable energy "Generator Registry" for North America to facilitate the efforts of the issuing or tracking systems to ensure that electric generation or conservation certificates are not double-counted.
- Maintain a library of resources to assist existing and emerging issuing, tracking or registering systems, including but not limited to, model contracts and agreements, legal arguments, operating rules, best practices, lessons learned, etc.
- Provide a forum for discussions relating to interaction between North American electricity-based certificate issuing or tracking systems and emissions registering and accounting bodies.
- Provide a forum for representatives of North American greenhouse gas registries to meet on a regular basis to discuss common issues, develop common standards and resolve common problems.
- Issue detailed reports on North American aggregated certificate and related market activity.
- Consult with parties interested in developing new certificate or environmental attributes tracking systems.
Board of Directors
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Governmental Non-voting Member
Dr. Jan Hamrin
Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), Stakeholder Representative
Sterling Planet, Stakeholder Representative
Wisconsin PSC, M-RETS representative
PG&E, WREGIS representative
History of ETNNA
ETNNA started as a program of the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) in 2002, known as the North American Association of Issuing Bodies (NAAIB). In the first two years, CRS conducted several stakeholder meetings and issued a report on the need for a coordinated network of renewable certificate tracking systems. These were formative years for the burgeoning renewable certificate market, as regulators, market participants and consumers gained experience with renewable certificates and became more comfortable with their use. In 2005, CRS convened a more formalized committee of “issuing bodies,” i.e., certificate tracking operators and regulators to set an agenda for the NAAIB. This committee, known as the NAAIB Working Group, met regularly between 2005 and 2007 and contributed to three papers on Best Practices for tracking system operators. In 2006, the Working Group reached consensus to formalize the NAAIB as its own organization and to seek independence from CRS. In 2007, CRS developed a business plan for the organization and drafted a set of governance By-Laws.
Two tracking systems, the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS) and the Mid-West Renewable Electricity Tracking System (M-RETS) joined ETNNA as founding members. In February 2008, ETNNA launched as its own nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.top