Oakley Greenwood and International REC Standard Foundation Announce MOU

Oakley Greenwood and the internationally acclaimed International REC Standard Foundation (I-REC) are pleased to announce the signing of an MOU to bring renewable gas I-RECs [I-REC(G)] to Australia. The I-REC(G) will certify the origins of biomethane and biogases as renewable gas. The IREC(G) is an internationally tradable Environmental Attribute Certificate providing a verified record of renewable gas production. This follows similar trends in Europe and the Americas.

The I-REC(G) has been developed and tested in Brazil through an I-REC(G) Code Manager Consortium that has developed a new Product Code [I-REC(G) Product Code] which is currently in draft form and moving to full completion. Australia has been chosen to receive I-REC(G) implementation due to its rapidly growing biomethane market and forecasts by AEMO, Bioenergy Australia and the original Bioenergy Roadmap, which was developed with support from ARENA.

Brazil produces around 70 PJ/year of biogas and biomethane currently and has a target for almost four times this quantity by 2030. Australia is already tracking to develop in excess of 350 PJ/year of pipeline quality biomethane with a revenue value worth $4.2 billion a year. Biomethane is a direct or “drop in” fuel that can displace traditional natural gas with no changes to end use appliances – possibly decarbonising the entire east coast industrial, commercial, and residential use of natural gas by the early 2030s. `

The I-REC(G) complements other trial work being undertaken in Australia for a Guarantee of Origin certification and can support the recognition of biomethane within the Safeguard Mechanism, and more generally in the market. It will be particularly valuable for those key industries reliant on natural gas and whose emissions are very difficult and expensive to abate in any other way (e.g., cement, aluminium, glass, bricks, etc).

These schemes will allow the utilisation of biomethane in existing gas networks and storage facilities for use by gas-fired power generation. Stored biomethane, which is a clean and efficient means for firming variable renewable electricity generation, can provide a green insurance policy against renewable energy droughts with the gas network capable of storing more than 50 Snowy Hydro 2.0s. This repurposing of the existing gas assets, that can deliver as much energy on the east coast as the NEM, will reduce the need to overbuild renewable electricity assets such as transmission and electricity storage.

Oakley Greenwood is the current I-REC Electricity issuer for Australia and, being deeply engaged with the biomethane industry, is looking forward to assisting the development of this highly valuable and useful resource in playing a major role in Australia’s transition to net zero emissions by 2050. The I-REC(G) will play a key role in the blending down of the carbon intensity of gas supply to meet the 2050 aspiration of net zero emissions for this critical fuel. It will benefit customers and the economy and provide new clean energy jobs and careers. It will see the development of major energy centres in our regions that will require ongoing skills and be a boon for farmers able to monetise their agricultural byproducts and supply energy to the cities, using existing gas transmission, distribution, and storage assets. But crucially customers will have zero capital costs to decarbonise and a continued choice between gas and electricity.

For comment of information please contact Angus Rich ( 0407962751, arich@oakleygreenwood.com.au ) or Jim Snow (0417775893, jsnow@oakleygreenwood.com.au )

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