Smart certification system from Siemens Energy validates route to green goals

CertaLink brings together scheme holders, independent certifica-tion bodies and registries

CertaLink arrives at a time when the eyes of the world are turning towards Cop28

The world is on a vital journey towards a more sustainable future - but much of our essential actions demand systems that ensure we get there effectively and genuinely.

Such is the motivation for Siemens Energy establishing CertaLink Energy Certification, which provides credibility and certainty in the new energy ecosystem.

Using powerful technology, such as blockchain, this smart innovation is designed to guarantee carbon footprint traceability of energy products, imports, and consumption.

CertaLink Energy Certification - in partnership with TÜV SÜD and the German Energy Agency (dena) - brings together scheme holders, independent certification bodies and registries.

Implementation of such a digital service supports the development of sustainable hydrogen and Power-to-X markets, and carbon intensity-reduced energy carriers which are viewed as essential building blocks of an energy transition that is gaining pace.

CertaLink arrives at a time when the eyes of the world are turning towards Cop28 - and will be part of discussions among leaders and prime energy actors during the world climate summit happening November 30-December 12 at Expo City Dubai.

Lavinia Willmann, Digitalisation Lead, Siemens Energy, explains: “CertaLink is a blockchain-based solution able to generate complete transparency about carbon emission levels, greenhouse gas, footprints, you name it, within almost every single production process you have within the energy industry, or industries that are energy intensive.

“It’s the digital application of being able to fully understand, down to a molecular level, where your carbon emissions are coming from, and where they go.”

Decentralised ledger technology allows for automated, timely and legislatively-compliant sustainability certificates to be issued across sectors, and the entire energy value chain.

These contain the relevant information required to prove sustainable origin to meet future governmental requirements, gain customs and tax reductions, leverage the value of specific products, and enable clean energy trading at stock exchanges and other marketplaces.

Dr Fahad Al Yafei, Siemens Energy’s chief technology officer for the Middle East, identifies clear need for certification amid suggestions of ‘green-washing’ within certain sectors or businesses.

“When you take verification of your green product and put it in the hands of distributed nodes (network stakeholders) and public platforms in which everyone is contributing to validating and verifying that your product, to the molecular or megawatt level, is certified green, that adds value to what you are producing and brings global consensus that your product is at par with the regulations,” he says.

“Blockchain by nature is distributed - is not under the control of a singular entity - and that adds up to the validity of what you have.”

CertaLink Energy Certification has proven case study use - and, therefore, effectiveness applicable to anything from ammonia production to SAF (sustainable aviation fuel), traditional energy through to blended fuels, and existing industries that are decarbonising.

This year has seen Siemens Energy apply the system at Nobian’s chlor-alkali electrolysis plant in Germany; Nobian has been providing green hydrogen for two years and, as the first certified chlor-al-kali electrolysis plant, understands the demand for an automated, transparent and fully traceable certification process along the value chain.

Siemens Energy has also implemented and verified its CertaLink system at Chile’s Haru Oni, proving the sustainable green origin of e-fuel in a Porsche motorsport fleet.

This scenario demonstrated the broad spectrum of innovative, climate-relevant technologies at one location.

With climate change a looming reality in many lives, real action for cutting globally warming emissions is essential and demands the kind of accounting and sustainability certification CertaLink offers.

“It’s absolutely a matter of time, not just because of Cop28, but simply because before we can apply one million potential actions to decarbonise, we need to understand first how the current situation is,” continues Ms Willmann.

“Our CFO uses the phrase ‘what gets measured gets managed’, and CertaLink is the absolute crucial first step; we’re generating transparency in the most trustful way.

“We can go down to a very detailed level…that’s why we collaborate with our partners within the ecosystem to be able to fully understand production processes, and then take real-time data points out of the production process to get a clearer picture. And that works for all sorts of processes.”

Therefore, CertaLink can play a major role in the essential future energy system, including commercialisation of greener fuels to ensure viable adoptability and thriving economies that protect ecosystems.

The European Commission targeted a 55 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, aiming to reach climate neutrality by mid-century.

For such goals to be achievable there are EU policy frameworks in place designed to fully disclose the tracking of renewable electricity. Other regions, such as the UAE, operate international renewable energy certification (I-REC).

With other fuels, fuel generation, and fuel carriers entering the mix, alongside fresh regulatory structures to ensure sustainability credentials, CertaLink will become a key component.

“As the regulation is being built around what you want to achieve by 2050 or 2060, having a digitised measurement system allows you to monitor your emissions from source throughout the whole supply chain of whatever is going through to the end customer,” says Dr Fahad.

Those in the industry and the many associated verticals recognise that enforcing policy frameworks requires verifiable audit trails covering the entire energy value chain, from generation to consumption, even down to an individual product.

Added to that, companies - many of which may already have monitoring and sensor systems in place to capture necessary data - need to communicate in a trusted way their sustainable activities and production of climate-friendly products.

Siemens Energy saw that need, plus the challenges and the potential, and responded with its logical next step towards securing progress and trust at public, political and industrial levels.

It devised CertaLink as an open, borderless, legally compliant and robust cross-sector operating solution built for new energy paradigms - including a sometimes hard-to-convince younger generation that aspires to honesty and authenticity to reach common goals.

Among other benefits, CertaLink is empowering businesses to secure project financing by providing proof of sustainability, something that could be vital for players within emerging business models, traditional industries looking to pivot, or others seeking to scale.

Ms Willmann is keen to clarify her company is not the certifier, however.

“You will not receive a Siemens Energy certificate,” she says.

“The certifications are triggered by regulations that result in certification schemes, market influence and impacts, governmental target-setting and so on.

“We are the first mover in terms of now coming up with and applying a trusted technology to those very specific use cases…the combination of those areas is what makes it unique, what makes it innovational, and what makes us a first mover in that field.

“There is so much pressure coming from very different perspectives and this technology, applying it the way we do, seems a very logical step.”

Dr Fahad hopes that post-Cop28, Siemens Energy will be able to roll out the CertaLink system on a much larger scale.

“We have our senior management attending Cop28,” he adds.

“It’s extremely important to show that we are fully aligned with the global trend moving towards green energy and we will be showcasing specifically this certification within our presence.”

Updated: December 04, 2023, 2:14 AM