Financial benefits for companies thanks to 14Credits

Companies that have installations running partly on green fuel can now easily demonstrate this. If they do, they need to purchase fewer emission allowances and are entitled to green certificates. The 14Credits method, developed by ECN, measures the share of green energy in the flue gas emitted by an installation rather than at the source. 14Credits is increasingly acquiring official recognition. Its deployment may even become obligatory in the future.


The C14 method is mostly known from archaeology. Antiquarians determine the age of an object by establishing the number of C14 isotopes. ECN developed a technology that works in a comparable way to determine which part of the CO2 in a gas cloud stems from fossil fuels such as oil and gas and which part of the CO2 was produced by green, organic fuels such as biomass.  The CO2 that is emitted in the combustion of organic fuels is less harmful for the environment, because it is already part of the natural cycle. This does not apply to the CO2 of much older fossil fuels: they are additionally emitted into the environment.

Deserved reward

In the absence of a good measuring method, authorities were inclined to lump everything together in the past. In practise, however, companies in one branch turn to out to perform quite differently. Positive performers among these companies using mixed fuel flows can now get the reward they deserve. For example, they need to buy fewer emission allowances; these need not be paid for green energy. Not seldom does an installation turn out to use even more green fuels than the owner is aware of, for example because waste is processed in paper or latex is used in car tyres.

CEN status

The fact that 14Credits is just as reliable a method as measuring the fuel flows that enter an installation was already established in 2008 by the University of Groningen. Last summer, the 14Credits method, 14Credits being its most efficient application, was recognised by OFGEM, the British regulator of the gas and electricity market. British plants that extract energy from waste can now derive rights from 14Credits reports. Next summer, the method is expected to receive a CEN status. It will then become an official European Standard and Member States can make its deployment obligatory.

Service package

ECN offers full service packages to companies inside and outside the Benelux that want to benefit from 14Credits. This package comprises the drafting of a measuring protocol, installing a sample apparatus that takes samples, analysing the samples, processing the data and drafting a report in conformity with the requirements. For more information, visit the website of 14Credits.