Renewable Energy Activities FAQ

What are the six main critical issues hydro-projects need to discuss?

1) Competing use of water resources
2) Minimum ecological flow
3) Impact on groundwater level
4) Design and effectiveness of fish passage(s)
5) Sediment management plan
6) Mitigation measures for reducing soil erosion
For more details, please refer to Annex C


Are all hydro projects required to discuss the six critical issues listed above?

Yes, all hydro projects (including micro-scale hydro projects) are required to discuss the six critical issues in the project documentation.


Under which scenario is an external expert report required for hydro projects?

Unless already addressed satisfactorily as a part of the existing ESIA report, the opinion of an independent external expert(s) should be provided. Based on relevant CVs submitted by the PP, Gold Standard will select an external expert. It is the Project Developer’s responsibility to pay for this expert. Before any work can start on the study a MoU needs to be signed by all parties (e.g. Gold Standard, the Project Developer and the expert(s)). The MoU will outline the scope of the work and what needs to be assessed by the expert(s).


What is the biomass availability rule for small-scale and large-scale projects?

Project Participants must demonstrate that their project makes use of surplus biomass for each type of biomass resources used.  For small-scale activities, they can do this once, ex-ante on time for validation. For large-scale activities, they must do this once in time for validation and then every time they conduct verifications (e.g. as part of the Sustainability Monitoring Plan). For more information please see the Activity Guidance applicable to your project.


As a project developer, how do I choose between Gold Standard VERs and Gold Standard Renewable Energy labels for my renewable energy project?

Projects that follow a Gold Standard approved Emissions Reduction methodology and verified emission reduction (VER) Product Requirements, in addition to the Renewable Energy Activity Requirements and Renewable Energy Labelling Product Requirements, will be able to choose between Gold Standard Renewable Energy labels  and Gold Standard VERs at Issuance.  Which to choose is entirely at the discretion of the project developer, based on the demand they see from buyers.  Project developers have the flexibility to issue a combination of VERs and I-RECs from the same project – deciding which label to attribute to each MWh.


Can I issue both VERs and Gold Standard Renewable Energy labels for the same MWh?

No. To avoid double counting you cannot issue Renewable Energy Labels and VERs for the same MWh.