The REGATRACE Participants’ Workshop had presentations from relevant experts on the key topics on renewable gas registries and incorporated an interactive session with multiple choice answers to set questions. While the respondent pool was too low to have statistical relevance or broad application, the results reflect opinion gathered at the meeting.
Respondents confirmed that they felt their understanding of the certification process had been enhanced and that they understood the difference between Certificates of Origin and Proofs of Sustainability.
Industrial heating and cooling was selected as the sector with the greatest demand for renewable gas in Ireland – with transport, residential and power generation also listed in that order.
Opinion was split as to whether renewable gas, used in Ireland to meet national targets, should only be produced in Ireland, or whether market forces should determine its source – domestic or imported.
The importance of the gas grid in decarbonising the Irish economy, going forward, was recognised as having a major role / being more critical than it is today.
Biomethane was considered to be the appropriate main focus for the renewable gas industry with an emphasis also on green hydrogen. The view was also expressed that all options, including decarbonised natural gases, should be considered.
Most people felt that the replacement of diesel with gas powered (CNG) engines should only be supported if the new CNG vehicles were refuelled with a blend of biomethane and natural gas, consistent with the renewable fuel blends applicable to the biofuels obligation scheme.
Most people supported the view that the additional cost of producing renewable gases should be socialised across all gas consumers who will receive a blended supply of renewable and natural gases. Many also felt there is scope for the cost to be levied directly on the consumers who wish to procure specific volumes of renewable energy.
Policy support and government funding were all identified as required measures to supports to drive the establishment of a renewable gas industry in Ireland.
A quarter of those who responded said they were familiar with the provisions of the recast Renewable Energy Directive II which applies to the production and end use of biomethane /renewable gas. Most people were unfamiliar or had some familiarity.
On the question of how many biomethane plants Ireland will have in 10 years’ time, the level of ambition was on the higher end of the scale at 100-200 versus the other options (50 and 10).