Operated by Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd (REAL), the Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS), tracks biomethane through the supply chain to provide certainty for purchasers.

The two certificates represent 1,000,000kWh of biomethane injected into the local gas distribution network by J V Energen LLP at Rainbarrow Farm in Poundbury, Dorset, in December 2012.

The Duchy of Cornwall rural director of finance, who is responsible for managing the Duchy’s carbon footprint, Andrew Phillips, said: “This has been one in a number of initiatives to reduce the organisations’ carbon footprints, and it is particularly pleasing that these come from the Rainbarrow Farm plant in which the Duchy is lead investor.

“Establishing a credible renewable gas trading scheme in the UK is crucial to the development of the biomethane industry.”

The GGCS comes into operation when a producer generates biogas from anaerobic digestion, upgrades it to biomethane and injects it into the gas grid.

The GGCS then assigns each unit (kWh) of biomethane a Renewable Gas Guarantee of Origin (RGGO), effectively tagging each unit in a similar way as a Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origin (REGO), which tags a unit of renewable electricity in the power grid.

According to the REA, the underlying principle is ‘one unit in, one unit out’, ensuring that the green benefits of the gas will not be double counted. This enables the producer to sell their guaranteed ‘green gas’ on to users who are keen that their gas comes from a renewable source.

GGCS certification manager Ciaran Burns said: “[The project] is an excellent example of inputs from the local area, including waste food from local businesses, being transformed into a renewable gas which can be used as a replacement for conventional gas and provide excellent carbon emissions savings.”

Conor McGlone

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