Posted: 19 September, 2016. Written by Syed Ahmed
· Changes to key greenhouse gas reporting rules provide new opportunities for large organisations to show they have reduced their carbon impact by using biomethane;
· The use of green gas now allows for near-zero greenhouse gas emissions reporting;
· Consumer interest in the use of biomethane – also known as green gas – is now growing, spurred on by new renewable gas offers from domestic energy suppliers.
Greenhouse gas reporting recognises use of grid-injected biomethane
The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol (1) is the global standard against which large organisations measure, manage, and report GHG emissions. In a major breakthrough the GHG Protocol has recently recognised that Green Gas Certificates, issued by the Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS), can support a business’s reporting of onsite GHG emissions.
Through the use of Green Gas Certificates, which track the use of grid-injected biomethane, companies can now report near-zero GHG emissions for gas combusted onsite due to the biogenic nature of the biomethane being sourced (2). These changes are also backed by the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), which monitors and ranks companies according to greenhouse gas reductions. The CDP’s latest UK annual report states that 232 companies out of the FTSE 350 now disclose their GHG emissions output to the CDP (3).
The GGCS liaised closely with GHG Protocol team, based in Washington, and the CDP, to ensure that its Green Gas Certificates fulfil the reporting criteria of the Protocol. Research undertaken by leading environmental consultancy Ecofys for the GGCS helped ensure that the Scheme complied with the Protocol’s rules. (4)
Domestic green energy suppliers back use of grid-injected biomethane
Good Energy has announced that 6 per cent of its green gas supply is made up of biomethane injected to the grid. This biomethane is sourced from UK anaerobic digestion plants registered through the Green Gas Certification Scheme. It expects this percentage to increase in future. Good Energy is using Green Gas Certificates as evidence that the biomethane has been injected, and that it has not been double counted in any way. Further domestic energy suppliers signed up to the GGCS include Green Energy UK, now supplying customers with 100 per cent green gas from UK anaerobic digestion plants backed by Green Gas Certificates; and LoCO2 energy, supplying 10 per cent of gas from biomethane.
Juliet Davenport, CEO of Good Energy, said: “Because our green gas is robustly and independently certified by the Green Gas Certification Scheme, we can assure our customers that, by getting their gas from us, they’re playing their part in achieving a sustainable future.”
John Baldwin from CNG Services Ltd, one of the architects of the biomethane to grid industry, said:
“It is great news that organisations wanting to reduce their carbon impact can now get recognition for using grid-injected biomethane. Our biomethane to grid market is continuing to grow, and this recognition provides a further boost to this nascent industry.”
Virginia Graham, who runs the Green Gas Certification Scheme, said:
“Together with Ecofys we have worked to navigate and understand the complex rules against which large organisations report their greenhouse gas emissions. As a result of our joint efforts we are now clear that these organisations can use Green Gas Certificates from our scheme as part of their corporate GHG reporting. As a result companies, such as Sainsburys, are now using Green Gas Certificates as part of their GHG reporting strategy.”
Sacha Alberici, Senior Consultant from Ecofys, said:
“We were delighted to be chosen to support the GGCS in this work. Companies will now have greater confidence in using Green Gas Certificates for their corporate accounting of the purchase of biomethane, which will help to further stimulate development of the green gas market in the UK. ”
Virginia Graham concludes:
“As a not for profit, industry-led initiative, the GGCS will continue to support the biomethane to grid sector and also look for new opportunities for renewable gas such as the supply of biopropane, the production of syngas (BioSNG) and renewable power to hydrogen projects.”
For more information please contact:
Syed Ahmed, Policy Advisor, GGCS: firstname.lastname@example.org 07941 036526 or Ciaran Burns, Scheme Manager: email@example.com 07973 217988
Notes to Editors
1. See http://www.ghgprotocol.org
2. Biogenic emissions are CO2 emissions from the combustion of biomass. When a company uses biomethane, biogenic CO2 is emitted. The GHG Protocol does require that biogenic emissions are reported, but separately from the emission scopes in a memo item. This is because the CO2 stored in the biomass has already been ‘removed’ from the planet’s carbon stock and would have been otherwise emitted when the biomass decayed naturally at the end of its life. Further emission reporting information around the use of Green Gas Certificates is available at:
3. CDP Climate Change Report 2015 United Kingdom Edition, 4 November 2015
4. Ecofys’s report for the Green Gas Certification Scheme is available on request. Please email Ciaran Burns on firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.
5. The Green Gas Certification Scheme works with biomethane producers to provide a route for the sale of green gas injected into the grid, tracking the gas through the supply chain to provide certainty for those that buy it.
Biomethane to Grid (BtG) projects are supported through the Government’s non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The BtG sector has seen significant growth since the first scheme came into operation in 2012, with over 70 projects now in operation in the UK. BtG projects are now producing over 3TWh of renewable gas, with the Government and National Grid both forecasting significant future expansion.
To date there are 22 producers registered on the scheme with an injection capacity of around 1.45 TWh of biomethane per annum.
Green Gas Certification Scheme members include BtG schemes across a diverse range of industries such as:
· ReFood’s food waste collection plant in Widnes;
· Wyke Farms, one of the UK’s largest independent cheese producers in Somerset;
· JV Energen’s agricultural and food waste plant in Poundbury, Dorset, a joint venture between the Duchy of Cornwall and three farmers; and
· Minworth Sewage treatment works developed by Severn Trent in Sutton Coldfield.
Further information is available at www.greengas.org.uk
Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS)
25 Eccleston Place, London, SW1W 9NF
Tel: 020 7981 0850