Working towards an integrated European biomethane market

Brussels, March 2018 – ERGaR featured in the latest Bioenergy Insight (March/April 2018 p 36,37): ERGaR President Jeppe Bjerg’s interview with Bioenergy Insight about the aims of the scheme and the complexities of trading biomethane across borders is published in the March/April edition of the Bioenergy Insight magazine.

Mr. Bjerg works for Energinet, a Danish gas TSO (transmission system operator), responsible for the Danish registry of biomethane. In 2012, the Danish Government decided that similar support, as already provided for electricity from biogas, would be given also for upgraded biogas (biomethane) injected into the natural gas grid, independently from its usage. Consequently, a significant growth in biomethane has been experienced and biomethane will be reaching almost 10% of gas consumption in Denmark by end of 2018. The trade of biomethane through the gas registry is thus of increased importance.

Bjerg explained: “The aim is to establish a European system for trading biomethane across borders in a trustworthy, transparent way where you avoid the methane being double counted and sold twice in different countries. We believe that biomethane and renewable gas usage will increase in the future. Creating a European market is an important part of that development. Therefore, we’re trying to build the foundations to do that, breaking down some of the barriers that exist today and creating a system where it will be easy to inject biomethane in one country and take it out in another.”

The European Renewable Gas Registry (ERGaR) is striving to create an ‘independent, transparent and trustworthy’ administrative system to facilitate cross border transactions of renewable gases across Europe. In December 2017, ERGaR submitted the application to the European Commission for the recognition of its ERGaR RED voluntary scheme under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The scheme is designed for mass balancing of biomethane distributed through the European natural gas network (thus enabling cross border trade of biomethane).

ERGaR is convinced that with its documentation system the entire European gas network can be treated as one single logistical facility and mass balancing system unit. The administration within ERGaR is based on the international cooperation among the national biomethane registries which act as issuing bodies for Guarantees of Origin in their home countries. The recognition of the ERGaR RED scheme by the European Commission will eliminate a lot of barriers and allow to actually use the European gas grid to trade biomethane (qualified as biofuel in accordance with the RED) from one country to another in an easy, trustworthy and transparent way.