On the 29 March 2022, the REGATRACE project organised the 4th Target Workshop for the set-up of registries and integration into the European network. Approximately 15 participants from the Belgian and private sector involved in biomethane and biogas production attended the workshop. Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, the workshop took place in a hybrid modality: some of the participants were physically present, while some others joined through a video call.

Stefano Proietti (ISINNOVA) presented the REGATRACE project, with ojectives, activities and different pillars.

For further information, see presentation “REGATRACE_ISINNOVA

Mieke Decorte (EBA) presented the REPowerEU Joint European Action, which aims to assure more affordable, secure and sustainable energy for the European Union. This Joint Action is especially important in the light of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine started on February 24, 2022, which showed Europe’s dependence on Russian energy imports.

It was acknowledged that a stronger and clearer need for a rapid clean energy transition is needed for reducing the EU imports of gas, which currently accounts for 90%. Russian gas represents 45% of those imports, while Russian oil and coal imports lie at 25% and 45%, respectively. Thus, the REPowerEU Joint Action aims to make the EU independent from Russian energy before 2030.

This will be done by establishing several milestones. The first one is a target of achieving a local production of 35 billion cubic meters of biomethane by 2030, which will help replacing 20% of natural gas imports from Russia and will also help reduce the exposure to food price volatility.

For achieving this target, three tasks are foreseen: (1) mobilization of sustainable biomass, (2) increase capital investment for new biomethane production capacity and (3) invest in gasification technologies (especially after 2030).

In May EC will publish a detailed plan (where EBA will be closely involved) on:

  • Diversify gas supplies
  • Speed up the roll-out of renewable gases
  • Replace gas in heating and power generation.

For further information, see presentation “REpowerEU presentation consortium meeting Brussels_EBA

Milenko Matosic (DENA) presented an overview of the European gas registries that are already operating or under development in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The registries were presented according to their affiliation to either the European Renewable Gas Registry (ERGaR) or the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) or being completely independent, such as the registry operated by Gas Networks Ireland. It was also showcased that some countries have two registries, such as in Austria (AGCS and E-Control) and Switzerland (VSG-Gazenergie and Pronovo), where one has been designated the official issuing body for gas GOs (E-Control and Pronovo).

For further information, see presentation “Overview of european_registries_DENA

Katharina Kramer (ERGaR) presented ERGaR presented its CoO Scheme for cross-border of renewable gases. The importance of harmonization of transfer requirements across Europe for avoiding multiple counting was underlined, while simultaneously securing the sustainability of the biomethane volumes being transferred. The registries that are currently System Participants of the ERGaR CoO Scheme were also mentioned (AGCS, dena Biogasregister, REAL-GGCS and Vertogas), together with the ones in the process of joining (Energinet and GRDF).

For further information, see presentation “ERGaR CoO scheme_ERGaR

Katrien Verwimp (AIB) presented its concept regarding the application of the EECS (European Energy Certificate System) rules to renewable gases, highlighting the importance of using standards and showing a comparison with the AIB Hub used for transferring renewable electricity certificates.  Special importance was put on the avoidance of multiple counting risks, in order for consumers to trust the book & claim system for energy certificates.

For further information, see presentation “EECS system_AIB

 Dirk Focroul (Fluxys) presented the state of the registries and renewable gases in Belgium. The complexities that arise from the political differences between the three regions in Belgium (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels) were used as a simile to describe the situation in the EU when trying to reach a consensus from the different views on energy matters from each Member State.

In this regard, the European Commission could learn from the best practices in Belgium when designing and implementing the energy policy on the much greater EU-level scale. Each region in Belgium is responsible for the implementation of ETS. On the other side, biofuels are the responsibility of the federal government.

In addition, it was explained that the production coordination is spread among three entities, depending on the region (VREG for Flanders, SPW for Wallonia and Brugel for Brussels).

According to Fluxys, there are two main issues hindering the energy certification processes. The first one is the lack of harmonization or a common methodology for metering, auditing and GHG calculation of green gases, as well as for sustainability criteria. The second one is the lack of centralization, which would allow the integration and streamlining of information for the different types of certificates and competences (regional and federal).

For further information, see presentation “Certification in Belgium_Fluxys

Tomas Velghe (VEKA) presented the use of biomethane for ETS in Flanders. It was noted that the energy and environmental policy in Flanders are integrated into one agency, VEKA, facilitating the work and link between energy and the environment, with a focus on GOs and ETS. In this sense, Flanders is still waiting for harmonization at EU-level to move forward in the regional legislation, but the need to link GO databases for avoiding multiple counting in the ETS sector was underlined.

For further information, see presentation “Biomethane for ETS in Flanders_VEKA

Sam Tessens (Biogas-E) presented the biomethane potential and evolutions in Belgium. The regional responsibilities in Belgium were again briefly explained, regarding environmental protection, mobility, infrastructure, energy and agriculture. Biogas-E performed a study (together with Valbiom) showing that Belgium has a biomethane potential of 15,2 TWh (mainly from agricultural waste). Biogas, in fact, is mainly produced from agricultural waste followed by industrial and municipal waste. The study identified relevant agricultural zones and characterized them in terms of production volume density (m3/km2), plant size and feedstock. The study will be used for the development of a roadmap with information about production costs (including CAPEX and OPEX), as well as externalities (GHG emissions, carbon price at present and future) and job creation.

For further information, see presentation “Biomethane potential and evolutions in Belgium_Biogas-E and Valbiom