The transition to carbon-neutral gas
The provision of renewable electricity continues to expand to meet to demand, with the big six, challenger and boutique suppliers now offering 100% renewable electricity as standard. The next step is to offer 100% green gas, however, provision at scale will take time. The climate can't wait, so what is the solution?
Consumer demand has never been higher for green products. According to a survey conducted by Unilever in 2018, 33% of customers were motivated by green credentials in the products and services they bought, including in utilities. This number has grown since 2018, with a 2019 study by Futerra suggesting that 88% of people are now looking for brands to provide them with sustainable products and services. Companies are keen to tap into this expanding market potential, and nowhere is this more marked than in utilities.
Green tariffs, centred around renewable electricity, have become commonplace within the energy sector – either through direct PPAs or through REGOs. In 2019, renewable electricity provided more electricity to UK homes and businesses for the first time, surpassing all other forms of fossil fuel energy generation. Less than ten years ago, fossils represented four-fifths of the UK’s electricity generation.
As renewable electricity becomes the norm – organisations are turning their focus to another component of their energy supply; gas.
It is possible to source green gas in the UK. It is produced through biodigesters, which turn available waste into gas for the grid. Whilst this is an attractive option long term, there are barriers to its widespread adoption. Costs per MWh are prohibitively high, and there are significant issues in regard to capacity. In 2017, renewable gases only represented around 7% of renewable gross inland energy consumption in the EU.
There is a vital need to act on climate change now. And there is an interim solution. To provide carbon-neutral gas through carbon offsetting. This is an internationally recognised way to reduce global carbon emissions, and a cost-effective way to tackle your gas emissions whilst the production of biogas scales.
ClimateCare is a leader in the voluntary carbon market and is a specialist in the utilities sector. We’ve worked with big six, challenger and boutique energy suppliers in the UK and Europe, to tackle their customer’s gas footprint – collectively compensating for ~1% of the UK’s emissions.
We do this through high-impact initiatives that align to company values, deliver significant sustainable development impacts, and cut carbon emissions. This includes supporting international biogas and renewable energy production around the world, alongside delivering wider social and environmental impacts – from protecting biodiversity to tackling indoor air pollution.
And while we wait for the remaining utilities companies to step-up, businesses and individuals who want to take responsibility for carbon emissions can signal their desire for change by switching providers – and in the meantime using an online calculator to measure and offset these emissions.
Earlier this year, edie’s publishing company Faversham House has announced an expansion to its partnership with ClimateCare to offset all carbon emissions from speaker and delegate travel across all its events throughout 2020.
Faversham House has partnered with the B Corp ClimateCare to offset travel emissions from events for the year, building on a partnership that has been in place for seven years.
© Faversham House Ltd 2023 edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.
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How verifiable is carbon offsetting? If an estate installs a heat pump (zero-carbon emissions) which is in turn powered by power from a zero-carbon source it’s probably fair to say that’s a zero-carbon system, although even that is open to challenge if we take a holistic view. Is carbon offsetting a legitimate way to get an organisation to become net zero-carbon or is it clever accounting?
I don’t know. I’m asking…
@Nigel, shouldn’t be prioritised over heavy operational, supply chain and use phase emissions cuts but can help create positive change. https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/energy/short-guide-carbon-offsets
OK, many thanks. Soon as I get a moment I’ll investigate the link in more detail.