Germany currently uses around 630 billion kWh of electricity and around 930 billion kWh of gas per year. Nevertheless, in the energy transition and climate protection, we mainly focus on the regenerative adaptation of our power sources. Ecogas providers want to overcome this deficit and are becoming more and more successful. Not only green electricity, but also increasingly green gas is in greater demand by households and companies in Germany. The article also provides an overview of current suppliers and tariffs for green gas.
Climate protection with green electricity AND green gas
If private households and companies want to contribute to climate protection, you can influence the composition and the carbon footprint of their electricity or gas consumption by choosing their electricity and gas tariff.
This can, but does not have to, be done by switching to a new provider. Often, however, the established energy suppliers are now offering electricity and gas tariffs with the desired share of climate-friendly energy.
With electricity, changing tariffs or providers is much easier than with gas, since the quantities of renewable electricity produced are much higher than the quantities of available green gas. In general, however, it has been possible to switch gas providers nationwide in Germany since 2006.
Thanks to the increasing processing of biogas to bio natural gas (see article "Bio natural gas - evolution of bioenergy") and the feed into the natural gas network, bioenergy expands its possible uses and can also play one of its most important assets. Biomass is currently the only source of raw materials for renewable gas!
There are concepts for other forms of green gas (power to gas, wind gas, regenerative hydrogen), but these are often still in the early stages of development.
What is green gas?
As far as I know, the term ecogas is not a legally protected term and is one of the many new words that have shaped the energy industry in recent years.
The designation as "eco gas" says nothing about the origin of the gas, but about the carbon footprint of the energy product. That is why ecogas does not necessarily have to be biogas or bio natural gas, as I initially assumed. Most of the real “eco gas” will probably be based on biomass as a raw material, at least in the near future! See also the article on the Federal government's feed-in targets for biomethane.
Every form of green gas is one thing above all: CO2-neutral!
Some providers can also offer the green gas tariff because they buy emission certificates that offset the carbon dioxide release of the fossil natural gas used and in this way guarantee CO2 neutrality. If this form of green gas is offered, there is often talk of a “climate tariff”.
Natural gas already has a comparatively good carbon footprint among fossil fuels and is likely to regain importance after the decision to phase out nuclear energy. With the additional addition of bio natural gas, the carbon footprint of the gas supply is further improved.
Another possibility to offer a green gas tariff is the parallel support of climate projects in countries that are not listed in Appendix B of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and are therefore not obliged to save carbon dioxide. For this climate tariff, fossil natural gas is also used, whereby the excess amount of carbon dioxide, which is missing for carbon neutrality, is saved elsewhere in the world. The procedure of such Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Project can be found in the corresponding Wikipedia article.
Ecogas is not the same as green gas, but it is always CO2 neutral and thus contributes to climate protection.
Provider of green gas and green gas tariffs
The good news is that there are now numerous suppliers who offer a gas product with a bio natural gas content of 5-10%. The bad news is that I don't want to mention them all because of their abundance. Therefore, I will only mention the providers and tariffs that offer 100% green gas (“climate tariff”) or have a gas tariff that contains at least 30% biogas.
As of October 2011. If I have forgotten an ecogas provider in the list, I can add it in a comment.
- natural power | Tariff with 100% biogas content available
- Natural gas Swabia | Tariff with 100% bio natural gas offered
- BayWa | Ecogas Bioflex 100 | 100% bio natural gas tariff
- ecoSWITCH | eco RegioBioGas30 Plus | 30% biogas content
- 1-2-3energy | inexpensive 123 ecogas (Price: 5.43 cents / kWh) | Climate tariff
- SW Wedel | 100% green gas in basic supply Climate tariff
- ENTEGA NATURAbalance fix gas II | Climate tariff
- E for simple | MeinKlimaTarif | Climate tariff
- Eprimo | eprimo eco gas | Climate tariff
- Optimal green | Climate tariff
Competition for the small amounts of bio natural gas
The quantities of bio natural gas available are currently still relatively small and we are still far from the feed-in target for 2020 of 6 billion m3 bio natural gas per year. Also read the article about Obstacles to biomethane feed-in.
I suspect that due to the small amount available, the advertising drum for the interesting energy product eco gas is not yet stirred / hit as strongly and the demand among consumers is comparatively low compared to green electricity tariffs.
As soon as the production capacities for bio natural gas or green gas have been increased in general, the demand for green gas will probably also increase. Ultimately, however, the amount of the cost difference will also determine the success of eco-gas, which the consumer has to pay in addition to previous gas products.
Changing tariffs or changing suppliers for more green gas?
Ultimately, each consumer can and must decide whether to make a personal contribution to climate protection, by using CO2-neutral green gas, by changing tariffs or changing providers. Which provider fits best into your own energy portfolio depends heavily on the gas suppliers' regionally available offers.
Personal preferences also play an important role here. Do you prefer the dynamism and freshness of small, regional and very specialized providers or the experience and stability of an established gas supplier?
I wish you lots of fun and success with climate protection and a conscious selection of your ecogas product. Share your positive and negative experiences or questions with the other readers and write a comment! Thanks a lot.