The Council of Ministers, at the request of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, has approved a Royal Decree that creates the system of guarantees of origin for renewable gases, such as renewable hydrogen, biogas or biomethane, which will allow marketers and consumers differentiate them from gas of fossil origin.

The standard also incorporates into the internal legal system the sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reduction criteria of the community regulations for solid biomass and biogas, biofuels and bioliquids for transport, electrical uses, heating and cooling, as well as such as the penetration targets for biofuels from 2023, which should reach 12% of consumption in 2026, reported the cabinet led by Teresa Ribera.

This Royal Decree partially transposes Directive 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council, regarding the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, in relation to the criteria of sustainability and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from bioenergy and guarantees of origin for gas from renewable sources.

With these new guarantees of origin -similar to those already existing for electricity produced with renewables- each megawatt hour (MWh) of 100% renewable gas will lead to the issuance of a guarantee of origin with information on where, when and how it was produced the gas. Consequently, the guarantees will provide added value when marketing it that will encourage its consumption, with the consequent environmental benefit.

In addition, the regulations will create a Census of Gas Production Facilities from renewable sources and a Committee of Producers. Producers and marketers will be able to exchange guarantees of origin in a transparent and secure manner within the system, which will document the production, transfer and cancellation of guarantees of origin.

The guarantees of origin will certify the volume of gas and its quality, since it will differentiate between hydrogen obtained with renewable energy, biomethane, biogas or other gases, and will cover any renewable gas produced and consumed, whether in situ, self-consumed, and injected or not to the gas pipeline network.

The creation of this system of guarantees of origin was foreseen in several indicative planning tools, such as the National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (PNIEC), the Hydrogen Roadmap and the Biogas Roadmap, as well as in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

Likewise, the standard reviews and expands the sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reduction criteria previously applicable to biofuels and bioliquids, expanding its scope to solid biomass and biogas used for electrical, heating and cooling purposes. Energy from fuels that do not meet the requirements will not be able to count towards renewable targets or receive financial aid.

In order for agents to be able to certify the sustainability of the biomass collected in Spain, the standard refers, as far as possible, to current regulations, both state and regional, and to the established permits and authorizations, in order to avoid unnecessary burdens. .

Likewise, the Royal Decree establishes the objectives for the penetration of biofuels and biogas for transport purposes as of 2023, setting it this year at 10.5% in energy content and establishing a growing path, in accordance with the PNIEC, until reaching 12% in 2026.

It also introduces the contributions of advanced biofuels and biogas in transport, which will be at least 0.3% in 2023, 1% in 2025 and 3.5% in 2030.