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Cross-border trading of renewable gases will support European decarbonization

Cross-border trading of renewable gases will support European decarbonization
Summing up the EU-funded REnewable GAs TRAde Centre in Europe (REGATRACE) project (photo courtesy REGATRACE).

Cross-border trading of biomethane will be essential to ensure the EU can deliver 35 billion m3 (bcm) of biomethane by 2030, participants at the EU-funded REnewable GAs TRAde Centre in Europe (REGATRACE) project's final conference were told. 

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The scale-up of biomethane (aka renewable natural gas – RNG) production to 35 bcm by 2030 as proposed by the REPowerEU will support the EU in the achievement of climate goals and energy security alike.

Cross-border trading of biomethane and other renewable gases will underpin the decarbonization of the gas sector on the path toward a climate-neutral Europe. However, current regulatory, technical, and economic barriers prevent or hinder the emergence of a biomethane market in many EU countries.

Addressing this, the REnewable GAs TRAde Centre in Europe (REGATRACE) project aims to create an efficient trade system based on issuing and trading biomethane/renewable gases certificates/Guarantees of Origin (GO) in targeted and supported countries.

Over 100 participants and 20 speakers gathered in Brussels, Belgium on November 16, 2022, for the REGATRACE final conference to discuss the latest developments to boost biomethane trading across Europe.

In May 2022, REGATRACE was considered one of the reference projects on innovative solutions and research on barriers to and integration of sustainable biomethane to the gas grid within the REPowerEU plan.

The project’s final conference tackled the importance to recognise the green value of biomethane in all countries to facilitate biomethane trade across national borders.

Five-fold increase

The European Renewable Gas Registry (ERGaR) Certificates of Origin (CoO) Scheme and the AIB EECS Gas Scheme provide the technical requirements for cross-border transfers of biomethane.

The ERGaR CoO Scheme has been facilitating the cross-border trade of biomethane since 2021 and is operated by the European Renewable Gas Registry.

Between end-2021 and mid-2022, the amount of biomethane transferred via the ERGaR CoO Scheme increased over five-fold – from 30 GWh to 159 GWh.

Since the REGATRACE project started in June 2019, it has contributed to creating an efficient trade system based on issuing and trading renewable gas Guarantees of Origin (GO), including biomethane.

This, delegates were told, is “essential to provide certainty and information on where, when and how the renewable gas is produced.”

Renewable gas certificates give confidence in the green gas sector, encourage gas producers to inject green gas into the grid, and allow biomethane producers to sell the gas to all EU member states.

REGATRACE has paved the way for integrated solutions toward a common European market for biomethane and other renewable gases. National and EU policymakers must engage in an open dialogue with the biomethane industry to set up one central registry that operates as a trustworthy platform for renewable gas certificates, commented Stefano Proietti, Project Coordinator of REGATRACE.

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