Webinar Report: Developments in Renewable Thermal Instruments and Markets

By Blaine Collison, Senior Vice President, David Gardiner and Associates, and Claire Dougherty, Research Associate, David Gardiner and Associates

During its July webinar, the RTC featured two important developments in renewable thermal markets: Rachael Terada, Director, Technical Projects for the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) provided an update on the draft Green-e certification for renewable natural gas (RNG), and; Ben Gerber, Executive Director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS) shared a look at its growing renewable thermal trading platform and the evolving market activity around it.

The Green-e certification is well-known to renewable electricity and carbon offset market participants.  Leveraging many of the approaches and lessons learned from those efforts, CRS is developing a certification program for RNG.  The standard will apply to both the United States and Canada, and is being designed to deliver environmental benefits, prevent ‘double counting,’ and provide a credible market mechanism that energy buyers can utilize to meet their clean energy goals.  The standard also outlines regulatory surplus, verification, and auditing requirements.

CRS has been utilizing a stakeholder-driven process: RTC-Solutions Provider Mas Energy is been a Member of the project Working Group, and the RTC itself has been participating in the project’s Advisory Group.

The RTC encourages its Members, Solutions Providers, and stakeholders to review the updated draft when it becomes available.  Watch the RTC Twitter and LinkedIn feeds for updates, or subscribe to project updates from CRS here.

Please note that CRS’s annual Renewable Energy Markets conference will be online September 21-24.  The agenda includes sessions on RNG and renewable thermal markets.

Like CRS, M-RETS has been applying its deep experience in renewable electricity to developing renewable thermal markets.  M-RETS has created a web-based renewable thermal certificate tracking system and trading platform designed to enable and support both voluntary- and regulatory-market transactions across a broad – and expandable – range of renewable thermal technologies, covering both the U.S. and Canada.

Noting the nascency of the renewable thermal market, Gerber identified a series of issues requiring additional engagement and attention, including thermal certificate data standardization, tracking system interoperability and compatibility, and how to handle the carbon impact variations of different RNG feedstocks.

Of particular importance to buyers, Gerber shared that M-RETS has seen several corporate RNG transactions fall through recently, not because of marginal cost concerns, but due to uncertainty as to how the transactions and their associated greenhouse gas reduction claims would be treated under the WRI GHG Protocol.  For companies working on decarbonization goals, this is obviously critically important.  (Note: The RTC is talking with multiple stakeholders about this issue.)

For more information:

CRS and M-RETS are both doing vital work to build and accelerate market mechanisms that will support both voluntary and regulatory efforts to decarbonize thermal energy across our buildings and industries.

The complete webinar recording is available here.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments about this webinar.

Blaine Collison: blaine@dgardiner.com

Claire Dougherty: claire@dgardiner.com