There are eco-friendly, renewable ways for us to source our electricity, such as home wind turbines and solar panels. But are there any green methods by which we can get gas supplied to our homes? There are with the Green Gas Certification Scheme, which is a not-for-profit organisation whose aim is to make the green gas market a more viable option for consumers.
Their basic function is to track green gas (biomethane) from the point it enters the distribution grid to the point of sale to suppliers and eventually consumers. They track the contractual flow of green gas rather than physical flows because each unit of green gas displaces the need for a unit of conventional gas. Measuring contractual flow is the only feasible way that accurate tracking can take place.
What is ‘green’ gas?
Also known as biogas, green gas can come from a variety of sources. It can come from anaerobic digestion, landfill gas and synthetic natural gas, which is sometimes referred to as ‘syngas’. All of the sources it comes from create it through the gasification of biomass and removal of carbon dioxide. Biogas was formerly used to generate electricity, but there is an increasing demand for other renewable forms of energy and heating. UK producers are now converting the gas straight into biomethane and distributing it via the gas network, thus creating a greener source of gas.
This is a natural biological process that’s carried out by bacteria during the absence of air. Organic material is broken down into stable fertiliser and biogas. Anaerobic bacteria is found in naturally occurring waste management systems and you’ll find them in soil, deep water and landfill sites.
The biogas that’s created is formed of approximately 60% methane and 40% carbon dioxide. The organic matter used to create it largely comprises of food waste, the products of domestic and industrial waste water treatment and waste from agricultural activities.
Landfill gas comes from landfill sites, appropriately enough. It comes from the chemical reactions and microbes which result from the waste. It is one of the more difficult to rely upon sources of gas due to the varied types of waste that you’d inevitably find on a landfill site. The rate that gas is produced is controlled by what the waste is made up of, its chemical makeup, the number and types of bacteria, thermal conditions and the amount of moisture present. There’s a huge range of different conditions on a landfill site and landfill gas is therefore one of the hardest to exploit.
Synthetic natural gas
Syngas is created by the thermochemical process of gasifying organic materials. It consists of methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. It also has less than half the energy density of natural gas. Syngas has been and is used as a fuel source and during the production of other chemicals. It can come from a range of different types of biomass including the biodegradable fraction of food waste, paper, card and wood, sewage, agricultural waste and energy crops.
Advantages of the Green Gas Certification Scheme and green gas
The Green Gas Certification scheme’s method of contractual tracking means that there is no double-counting or double-selling of gas. The GGCS therefore means you can have more confidence in this particular energy sector. Their business practises are more transparent, which is a welcome relief in an age where consumers are constantly losing faith in how much they’re actually valued by their energy providers.
Gas is running out
Natural gas is swiftly running out. It’s a fossil fuel and as with all fossil fuels it’s going to run dry at some point. It’s also not a good source of fuel if you want to reduce your CO² emissions. If Britain is to become energy independent, making our own green gas would be a great place to start. When gas supplies start to drain away, companies like Ceres Power, which are registered under the Green Gas Certification Scheme, will continue to produce gas in a way that doesn’t impact on the environment and is totally renewable.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel which is sometimes extracted from the ground by the controversial process of fracking.
The more that these green gas companies are recognised and chosen by you, the more fossil fuels can be removed from the national supplies. There are very few green gas companies currently in existence and their future is worrying when the UK government has recently committed to further gas fracking. With whatever means we have, we need to raise awareness of green gas and other forms of sustainable green energy which won’t run out or damage the environment.tagsbiomassbiomethanegreen energygreen gasgreen gas certification schemerenewable energyrenewable fuelsustainable energysustainable fuel