Low-Methane Natural Gas
Bloom Energy is converting its entire global natural gas fleet to certified low-leak natural gas to prevent the release of harmful methane emissions stemming from upstream gas production.
In addition, Bloom Energy and MiQ, a non-profit partnership between RMI and SYSTEMIQ, will collaborate to test and refine elements of the certified gas marketplace and educate on the importance of reducing the environmental impacts of natural gas production.
The Methane Challenge
and How to Reduce Methane Emissions
Until sustainable alternatives become more widely available at scale, we need to ensure that the energy sources we rely upon, like natural gas, have minimal climate impact.
Reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations is among the most viable and significant actions we can take in the near-term to help address climate change.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and leakages from the oil and gas industry contribute over 84 million tons1 of methane to global emissions each year
While progress has been made over recent decades to curb methane emissions, 75 percent2 of these emissions from oil and gas production can be technically eliminated today.
Achieving methane reductions stemming from the oil and gas sector is the carbon equivalent of replacing 60 percent of the world’s coal-fired power plants with zero-emissions generation according to MiQ3. So, how can we reduce methane emissions? One answer is to use responsibly sourced gas.
What Does it Mean to Source Gas Responsibly?
Responsibly sourced gas is natural gas, whose production has been evaluated across a range of social, environmental, and governance criteria (including climate, community and labor issues).
Once validated, these considerations or “attributes” can flow to downstream buyers attached to the underlying fuel, or “un-bundled” and acquired to be paired with fuel purchases from conventional sources as is done in other environmental commodity markets (e.g., Renewable Energy Credits). Natural gas that has been evaluated to meet these criteria is called certified gas.
What Is MiQ
The MiQ certification standard incentivizes continuous improvement in methane emissions monitoring and abatement (such as leaky equipment and identifying undetected emissions) and halts purposeful polluting, providing rigorous and robust methods to certify natural gas production according to its methane emissions performance.
For MiQ certification, performance is evaluated across three criteria:
- Methane intensity below a threshold (% = methane emitted/natural gas produced)
- Company practices that promote and ensure a culture of emissions management
- Comprehensive monitoring technology deployment that enables detection of unintended emissions
Performance is verified by independent and accredited auditing organizations.
A producer’s gas is graded from A to F. Better grades signify lower methane intensity, superior company practices and more robust levels of emissions monitoring technology deployment.
MiQ+ Certification for Responsibly Sourced Gas
There are several standards and registry programs emerging as the market for gas certified as responsibly sourced emerges. Given the MiQ standard is focused exclusively on methane leakage, the MiQ+ approach has been created to allow for joint certification of production.
MiQ and Equitable Origin are the first MiQ+ volumes that will be delivered using the dual certification approach. Credits jointly certified under both the MiQ Standard and the Equitable Origin EO100TM Standard for Responsible Energy Development, will provide production assurance around a broad range of ESG criteria.
Transforming the Gas System to Reduce Methane Emissions
Initial focus is on the upstream portion of the value chain, but as the market matures, certification can be expanded to account for methane intensity across the value chain.
What Is Bloom Doing?
Bloom Energy is working with two leading non-profit organizations, MiQ and Equitable Origin, which have built innovative standards and a joint registry system that transforms how natural gas is sourced.
Bloom Energy has issued a Request for Proposals for MiQ and EO100™ natural gas certificates matching its customers’ fuel consumption across 700 sites globally, which is intended to positively impact the climate and support certified gas production both domestically and internationally.
Bloom Energy is seeking certificates representing gas production jointly approved under both the MiQ Standard and the Equitable Origin EO100™ Standard for Responsible Energy Development, which together provide production assurance around a broad range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.
Bloom Energy intends to source certificates signifying reduced methane emission intensity and other social and environmental attributes beginning in 2022.