REA hails "major breakthrough" enabling companies to include green gas to grid production from AD plants in emissions reporting
Businesses are now able to count green gas energy produced by anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities towards their onsite greenhouse gas emissions reporting, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) announced today.
Changes have been made to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol - the global standard against which large companies measure, manage and report GHG emissions - to recognise Green Gas Certificates as eligible for supporting a business's reporting of its carbon impact.
The REA described the changes as a "major breakthrough" that has received the backing of several energy suppliers as well as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which monitors and ranks businesses according to their emissions reductions.
It means that through the use of Green Gas Certificates - which are issued by the Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS) - companies can now report near-zero GHG emissions for gas combusted on their premises due to the "biogenic nature of the biomethane being sourced", according to the REA.
Biogenic emissions are CO2 emissions from the combustion of biomass through methods such as AD, but such emissions can be reported separately - as a memo item - from a company's primary greenhouse gas emissions, the REA explained.
Backing the changes, green energy supplier Good Energy said six per cent of its green gas supply comes from grid-injected biomethane sourced from UK AD plants registered through the GGCS.
"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," said Good Energy CEO Juliet Davenport.
Other domestic energy firms signed up to the GGCS include Green Energy UK, which is now supplying customers with 100 per cent green gas from AD plants, as well as LoCO2 Energy, which is supplying 10 per cent of its gas from biomethane.
"It is great news that organisations wanting to reduce their carbon impact can now get recognition for using grid-injected biomethane," said John Baldwin, managing director of biomethane-to-grid specialist CNG Services. "Our biomethane-to-grid market is continuing to grow, and this recognition provides a further boost to this nascent industry."
In order to ensure that its Green Gas Certificates fulfil the reporting criteria of the GHG Protocol, the GGCS said it worked closely with both the GHG Protocol team - based in Washington DC - and the CDP. Their work was also backed by research undertaken by environmental consultancy Ecofys.
Virginia Graham, who runs the GGCS, said the changes mean companies such as UK supermarket giant Sainsbury's can use Green Gas Certificates as part of their emissions reporting strategy.
"Together with Ecofys we have worked to navigate and understand the complex rules against which large organisations report their greenhouse gas emissions," she said. "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."
To date, there are 22 biomethane-to-grid plants registered with the government's Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, with an overall capacity of around 1.45TWh of biomethane per year.