Biomethane plays a key role in creating a low-carbon economy in the EU. However, to release the European potential of biomethane it is vital that it can be traded across national borders. It is with that aim that six national biomethane registries* have decided to establish cooperation among them and signed a Letter of Intent which lays down the basic understanding about the planned joint activities. These six registries are:
- Austria: Biomethan Register Austria (www.agcs.at)
- Denmark: Energinet.dk (www.energinet.dk)
- France: Gaz Réseau Distribution France (www.grdf.fr)
- Germany: Biogasregister (www.biogasregister.de)
- Switzerland: VSG (Federation of Swiss Gas Industry) (www.erdgas.ch/biogas/
- United Kingdom: Green Gas Certification Scheme (www.greengas.org.uk)
The key areas of the intended collaboration will be:
- to create the best possible, most efficient conditions for transfer of information related to biomethane transactions among the national biomethane registries,
- to establish a harmonised methodology by which the complete information pertaining to biomethane “Guarantees of Origin” is transferred between each registry,
- to ensure highest possible compatibility between the national registration systems,
- to set the conditions for mutual acceptance of Guarantees of Origin for biomethane (at the start on bilateral, later also on multilateral basis).
A functioning European biomethane market is highly dependent on a transparent, and reliable system of comprehensive information transfer across national borders as describted in the Letter of Intent.
The key requirement of biomethane cross-border trade is that the ”green” property (renewable, environmentally friendly and reducing GHG emissions) of the product biomethane should be recognised by the importing country, and that the gas should be counted towards national quotas or targets of the receiving country. The relevant qualification cannot be provided by the importing country, it must come from the country of production.
The Letter of Intent serves as a foundation stone for the future building of a structured, widely recognised cooperation among all national biomethane registries in Europe. It also serves as an invitation for the other national biomethane registries which have not yet joined the cooperation.
The signatories of the Letter of Intent share the conviction that the establishment of national biomethane registries in every European country and the broad cooperation among them will be the first important steps towards creating the pre-conditions for a future free cross-border biomethane market within the European gas grid.
The main aim of this cooperation is to create the compatibility between the registries and to set the conditions for mutual acceptance of Guarantees of Origin for biomethane. This requires the definition of a standardised set of data to be exchanged with involvement of the national registries whenever biomethane is transferred across borders. This requires that Guarantees of Origin is recognised by counterpart registries in other countries.
The resulting document, the „European Biomethane Guarantee of Origin” will contain all information needed for qualifying imported biomethane as „green” in the receiving country, thus enabling cross-border trade and also transactions running through the territories of several countries.
The “EU-Regist” project of Biogasrat+ (www.biogasrat.de) and the Intelligent Energy Europe GreenGasGrids project (www.greengasgrids.eu) have made a substantial contribution to the preparation of the international cooperation among the national biomethane registries.
Biomethane is a unique source of renewable energy:
Biomethane is the only renewable resource capable of flexible production, and which can be used in the heating, power and vehicle fuels sector. Biomethane can be either upgraded biogas from anaerobic digestion or syngas from gasification of biomass, being 100% renewable. Also the methane of the Power-to-Gas process is included if the applied electric power is generated from renewable sources and the hydrogen is biologically converted to methane.
Currently biomethane is produced in 15 European countries (AT, CH, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, HU, IS, IT, LU, NL, NO, SE, UK) in about 230 installations, is injected into the natural gas grid in 11 countries (AT, CH, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, LU, NL, NO, SE, UK) and is used as biofuel in transportation in 11 countries (AT, CH, DE, DK, FI, HU, IS, IT, NL, SE, UK).
* National biomethane registries are independent, professional organisations entrusted with the task of providing trustworthy documentation about all movements/transactions from production to end-use of biomethane (excluding double-counting) and of certifying the special (“green”, renewable) feature of the product. The national biomethane registries are the competent bodies to provide for such documentary confirmation within the boundaries of their national borders. This documentation is issued in accordance with the domestic legal, regulatory and market requirements.
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