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Case Study

Spanish Guarantee of Origin scheme for gas from renewable sources

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Spain

A brief guide to the new system of RGGOs in Spain.

On 19 May 2022, Spain's Royal Decree 376/2022 (RD 376/2022), of 17 May, came into force.

The decree regulates the criteria for the sustainability and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels, as well as the system of guarantees of origin (GoO) of renewable gases – i.e., Spain's new Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGO) certification procedure.
The approval of RD 376/2022 follows the publication of the draft decree and a public consultation last year (see our previous commentary on this topic).

Below, we briefly explain the new system of obtaining RGGOs:

1. Purpose: RD 376/2022 establishes the system of GoOs for renewable gases, such as renewable hydrogen, biogas or biomethane (RGGOs), which will allow marketers and consumers to differentiate them from gas of fossil origin.
Under Spain's RGGO certification system – similar to those already in place for electricity produced from renewable sources – each MWh of 100% renewable gas will lead to the issuance of a RGGO with information on where, when and how the gas was produced.

2. Registry of RGGO: This will include information on the situation, ownership, typology, capacity and start-up dates of installations.

3. Operation: The entity responsible for the development and management of the system of RGGOs is the Spanish transmission system operator (TSO – i.e., ENAGAS, S.A.) until the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) has the means to take over. ENAGAS has to submit a proposal for a Management Procedure to MITECO before 19 August 2022.

ENAGAS will be responsible for ensuring the principles of transparency, objectivity and independence are observed in managing Spain's RGGO system. This is relevant, given the research activities ENAGAS is carrying out in the field of renewable gases.

4. Future management procedure: This is to be approved by MITECO, following previous consultation with CNMC (Spain’s Competition Regulator) and stakeholders.

The procedure will govern:

  • ​The registration of production facilities;
  • Definition of the certificate, including expiry, revocation and redemption;
  • Rights and obligations of holders, and where applicable, the obligation to post collateral;
  • Communication procedure with traders and entities responsible for the management of GoOs of electricity from third countries;
  • Procedure for the supervision of production facilities;
  • In the case of gas from renewable sources not injected into the gas system, measurement procedure of the energy produced, as well as verification and inspection of the measurements;
  • Complaints management;
  • Composition and functioning of the Committee of Producers of Renewable Gas; and
  • The mechanism for amending the Management Procedure.

5. Committee of Subjects: A committee presiding over the system of RGGOs (composed of representatives of ENAGAS, CNMC, representatives of producers, transporters, distributors and marketers of renewable gas) shall be set up. Its function will be to participate in the improvement of the system of awarding RGGOs.

6. Conditions:

a) Producers of renewable gas shall be recorded in the Register of Installations for the Production of Gas from Renewable Sources.

b) RGGOs can be managed either by the operator of the installation or by a third party (with sufficient representation). 

c) An RGGO shall be valid for a maximum period of 12 months from the production of the relevant unit of energy. After 18 months from production, all unsettled RGGOs will expire. 

d) All movements arising from dispatch, transfer, import, export and cancellation of RGGO operations shall be recorded in the open book entry accounts of the system. In addition, the creation, transfer and cancellation of collateral or other rights that determine the immobilisation of the corresponding balances must also be reflected. 

e) Exports to other EU Member States will meet the requirements of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources

7. Content of RGGO: This will cover: 

a) The nature of renewable gas;

b) The energy source(s) or raw material(s) and technology used for the production;

c) Details of the facility where the gas was produced, including at least a unique identification number, location, technology and capacity of the facility as recorded in the Register of Production Facilities;

d) The role of any national support scheme(s) (if applicable);

e) The date on which operation of the installation will start-up;

f) The unique identification number of the gas producer;

g) Data on the logistics of marketing renewable gas, distinguishing at least between gas injected into the grid and gas marketed via off-grid logistics or self-consumed; and 

h) Information on the carbon footprint of the gas production process. 

8. Sanctions: Falsely declaring gas as coming from renewable sources, falsifying the volume produced and/or injected or any other action that produces the above effects, will be considered a very serious offence, and may lead to the disqualification of the marketer. 

This article was authored by regulatory and public law partner Ramón Vázquez Del Rey Villanueva and associate Luis Tisner Burillo at Fieldfisher Spain.

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