Japan plans to implement “clean energy” biogas certificates

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Japanese city gas utilities intend to introduce a framework of "clean gas certificates" for e-methane and biogas in the fiscal year 2024-25 to aid acceleration in carbon neutrality, according to a top official at the Japan Gas Association.
Japanese city gas utilities view the introduction and expansion of e-methane and biogas as among key steps to decarbonise the country's city gas, which is currently supplied after adjusting calorific values of regasified liquid natural gas (LNG) and domestically-produced natural gas.
"Since city gas pipelines are not connected nationwide, we need to create a framework that transfers environmental values [of clean gas] in order to spread and expand clean gas across the country," Koki Hayakawa, senior managing director and secretary-general of the JGA, said.
"For this reason, we are currently considering a framework called clean gas certificates that transfers environmental values of e-methane and biogas from the city gas," Hayakawa told a methanation council at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
As an initiative of the private sector, the Japanese city gas utilities are working to issue the certificates for production and injection of clean gas at pipelines, Hayakawa said.
To introduce the certificates, the Japanese city gas utilities aim to set guidelines for clean gas certificates in the first half of FY 2023-24 and start its test operations in the second half, with an aim to have it introduced in FY 2024-25, he said.
“At present, we are considering the framework of transferring environmental values of clean gas produced in the country,” Hayakawa continued. “Looking further ahead in the future, we hope to expand and apply it to procurements [of clean gas] from abroad.”
The Japanese city gas utilities aim to introduce 1% synthetic methane into city gas sales by 2030. It is part of the country’s target to start injecting more than 1% of synthetic methane produced from using hydrogen into city gas by 2030 and expanding it to 90% by 2050 in a bid to implement methanation.

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