Carbon neutral gas
We’re working to grow the percentage of green gas we supply by building green gasmills – the first of their kind to make biogas from grass!
Until we can provide 100% green gas, we’ll be offsetting the residual carbon emissions from the rest of our supply, by investing in carbon reduction schemes across the globe which have environmental and community benefits alongside the emissions reduction they make.
What is carbon offsetting?
You’ve probably heard the term ‘carbon offsetting’ before – whether it’s consumers stumping up a bit more cash when booking a flight to ‘offset’ the damage flying does to the environment, or big companies like Shell announcing in the news that all their petrol is ‘offset’. But what does it actually mean?
The theory behind carbon offsetting is that the amount of carbon emissions generated by an activity – like, in our case, energy creation – can be calculated and in effect neutralised by an initiative which removes carbon from the atmosphere.
So, for every tonne of CO2 an energy company emits, it could save the equivalent tonne by supporting projects that protect the environment or provide communities with clean energy.
What is our commitment?
At Ecotricity, we calculate the CO2 emissions from the gas we supply using DEFRA guidelines. These guidelines stipulate that our figures cover the carbon that is emitted when the gas is consumed.
From September 2019, we’ve been accruing funds for every unit of non-green gas we supply, and at the end of our financial year we’ll be offsetting all of these emissions by investing in global carbon reduction projects.
We believe that carbon neutrality will help combat climate change, while also caring for local communities by providing much needed biodiversity, education, jobs, and food security.
Find out more about the three exciting carbon offsetting projects we’ve chosen to support and invest in.
Which projects are we supporting?
Dagachhu Hydropower Plant, Bhutan
Have you heard the term ‘carbon sink’? It refers to something that absorbs more carbon than it releases as carbon dioxide. For instance, according to Fern, European forests are a net carbon sink because they take in more carbon than they emit.
Bhutan is also a net carbon sink, generating its power from hydropower to meet the growing demand of the Bhutanese people.
All the households within the vicinity of the project area receive electricity from the 126MW local hydropower project – power which has drastically improved people’s living conditions.
Before the plant existed, 91% of households were using kerosene for lighting and 98% using firewood for cooking – both of which are environmentally damaging.
The project has also created social benefits, through increased jobs and business opportunities, better road access and electrification of the area.
Valdivia Biomass Power Plant, Chile
The second project we support – in southern Chile – is a grid-connected biomass power plant, alongside a pulp mill. The project exports 61MW maximum of surplus electric power capacity to the grid.
The project uses a mix of black liquor and biomass, which comes from sustainable forest operations from the pulp mill facility, for power generation.
Before this project was founded, the liquor, bark and sawdust would have been dumped for natural decay or burned in the open air. Not only was this bad for air quality, it was also risky in terms of forest fires and water contamination.
The project has also been beneficial to communities in terms of the jobs it’s created locally.
Maharashtra Biomass Power Generation Project, India
This eco-friendly 10MW biomass-based power generation project in the Desaiganj Wadsa Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra generates power from surplus biomass residues from local rice husk.
This project contributes to bridging the huge gap between power demand and supply in the state of Maharashtra, and it aims to reduce emissions by 497,660 tonnes of CO2 over 10 years.
This project has created many jobs for the rural population in the region; collecting, processing and transporting the biomass, as well as the operating of the plant. It has also provided local farmers with new commercial value from agricultural residues.
By switching to Ecotricity, you’re not just taking the single biggest step to reduce your personal carbon footprint. You’re also supporting other communities around the world to access clean energy.