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Combating Greenwashing by Truly Going Green
Green energy from your energy supplier is usually just conventionally produced electricity that your supplier has labeled as ‘green’ by purchasing inexpensive certificates somewhere in Europe. Most of the electricity in the Netherlands still comes from coal and gas power plants. Coincidentally, these are the largest emitters of CO2.
Even if you generate your own electricity, there are always periods that you do not cover with your self-generated power, such as during nighttime hours or in the winter season. If you have generated more than you consumed over the course of a year, you are still considered ‘green,’ but that’s not always the case.
Encast aims to assist companies in becoming truly green.
The Green Meter
The Green Meter is interesting if you not only generate electricity but also consume it, supply it to tenants on-site, or use it for charging stations. With the Green Meter, Encast provides insight into how your electricity production and consumption relate to each other on a quarter-hourly, hourly, and monthly basis. Encast also forecasts this relationship for the next two days. This allows you to better align your production and consumption of electricity and use more self-generated power.
During weekends, electricity consumption at businesses in the Netherlands, for example, is low, while solar and wind generation continues as usual. This often leads to increasingly negative prices in the market, where you end up paying for this generation unless you apply measures like curtailment to shut down production. Financially, this can be attractive, but it’s also wasteful. With Encast’s Green Meter, you gain insights and encourage businesses to think about how they can better match their energy consumption throughout the week with their production or explore new opportunities for using this electricity (charging stations, batteries, etc.).
Greening Your Consumption through Wind and Solar
For the generation of your own electricity, you are awarded Guarantees of Origin (GOs) by CertiQ. These are tradable certificates granted for the production of green electricity. If you generate more than you consume on an annual basis (in spring and summer), it is considered 100% green electricity consumption. The GOs for the generation you do not use yourself are sold on the market by your trader. These are often purchased by foreign parties (Amazon, Microsoft, etc.) and may not necessarily contribute to greening the Netherlands.
Encast aims to help companies further green their operations at the corporate level. This can be achieved, for example, by selling the proceeds of your GOs from additional solar production and instead purchasing Dutch wind GOs (or vice versa). This allows you to cover your nighttime consumption with locally generated wind energy, for instance. Currently, this can only be done on a monthly basis and not on an hourly basis, depending on when they were produced. In the Netherlands, a significant amount of electricity is generated from wind in the autumn and winter and through solar in the spring and summer. On a corporate level, you can thus cover the months when you use electricity from the grid with green electricity produced in the Netherlands at that time, which the producer does not use themselves.
Further Greening Through Installation of Own Charging Stations or Batteries
The number of electric vehicles is rapidly increasing in the coming years. This requires more charging points for fast charging. Every kilometer an electric vehicle can travel on locally generated solar or wind power leads to significant savings in CO2 emissions and fine particulate matter.
The nighttime energy consumption of your business premises can be managed by installing a battery. This allows you to handle unexpected spikes in production or consumption without straining the energy grid. However, bridging the winter season is not yet feasible with a battery. Encast helps make it clear how you can make greater use of your own green electricity with a battery.
Since SDE 2020 II, the SDE also includes the CO2 intensity, which represents the subsidy requirement per ton of CO2 saved. Encast aims to assist companies in achieving carbon neutrality as well. This aspect is still being developed.
Because it takes time to achieve carbon neutrality (the world is targeting 2050/2060), and there will be too much emissions until then, it’s essential to invest in technologies that remove CO2 from the atmosphere. This is known as Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), and within this domain, Direct Air Capture (DAC) is a significant technique.
We are fans and customers of the Swiss company Climeworks in this regard. You can subscribe to their services to remove CO2 from the air on behalf of your company.