AP3 - Clearing, certification and profitability

While an accredited clearing procedure is operative since a while in the field of “green energy” (electricity), a similar system for biogas injected to the natural gas grid (biomethane) has to be established in the first place. For this purpose, an explicit confirmation is necessary for the customers, showing that only the amount of biogas currently available in the grid has been delivered. The coordination between a biogas plant injecting into the gas grid and the clearing of the fed-in gas amount had to be elaborated within the frame of the current project.

Electricity is circulating in both directions over transformers. Contrary to that, gas is flowing through pressure reduction stations only from higher pressure stages to lower pressure stages. Therefore, the approaches elaborated in the electric grid management cannot be transformed to the gas grid very easily. One thing similar, however, is that a renewable energy carrier is injected into a self-contained system. In this case this system is the “Regelzone Ost” reaching from Burgenland to the borders of Tyrol. By reading the gas counters one can exactly determine the amount taken from and injected to the gas grid. The design of this “virtual” clearing is analogous to green electricity. The production of renewable primary energy during the whole year must exceed (or be exactly equal to) the consumed amount of energy. There is one big advantage of biomethane over green electricity: because of the buffer action of the gas grid this gas can be stored for a short term. However, the balance has to be cleared over each year doing acquisition or sales on the market. Today, this clearing is already standardised and legitimatised by obligatory annual auditing of the involved companies. Additionally to this auditing, EVN is one of the first energy providers to deliver the technical confirmation of the correct production and application of the EVN-biomethane on a voluntary basis. This inspection is done annually since the first of October 2008 by TÜV AUSTRIA SERVICES GMBH for the EVN Wärme GmbH company, whereupon:

  • the producing plant and their substrates,
  • all counter facilities and connections,
  • all utilisation facilities (district heat, BioCNG-fuelling stations, green electricity, handover points to other grids),
  • the corresponding treaties and invoices, as well as
  • the identification and the preparation of certificates

are all part of the named inspection. After the completed and positive inspection according to the TÜV-catalogue of criteria, the inspection report on “Proven biomethane source” is generated – deviant gas amounts have to be balanced during the following financial year. The design of this certification enables an easy application and implementation by all other project partners to assure the start of a broad distribution of this explicit confirmation. In either case, it is guaranteed that the customers are supplied with local Austrian biomethane.

Subsequently, the clearing will be stepwise adapted to clearly illustrate the amount of delivered biomethane to the customer within the customers invoice.

Additionally, further subprojects concentrate on the profitability of the grid-injection of biogas.