2009 National Biochar Conference Presentation

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  • Very hard to regulate every source of emissions
  • 2009 National Biochar Conference Presentation

    1. 1. Carbon Markets and Biochar: An Offset Buyers Perspective North American Biochar Conference August 10th, 2009 Peter Weisberg Offset Project Analyst pweisberg@climatetrust.org 503-238-1915
    2. 2. Outline • Theory of offsets • How offsets could support biochar projects • Methodology issues • Current funding from The Climate Trust
    3. 3. Source: The McKinsey Quarterly. 2007. “A cost curve for greenhouse gas reductions.”
    4. 4. US Offset Market • Trends –Fossil fuels will likely be capped –Favor domestic projects over international projects • Destroying methane emissions • Sequestration – Forestry – Soil Management – Biochar?
    5. 5. Sequestration Projects • Clean Development Mechanism – Reforestation/afforestation only – Temporary credits HFCs, PFCs & N2O reduction 27% Renewables 35% CH4 reduction & Cement & Coal mine/bed 20% Supply-side EE 10% Fuel switch 7% Demand-side EE 1% Afforestation & Reforestation 0.4% Transport 0.2% Expected CERs Until 2012 (%) in each category
    6. 6. Outline • Theory of offsets • How offsets could support biochar projects • Methodology issues • Current funding from The Climate Trust
    7. 7. $ = CO2 Sequestered x Price •Low Quality US Projects • Chicago Climate Exchange: $2-$4/mt CO2 • High Quality US Projects • Voluntary Carbon Standard: $4-$9/mt CO2 • California Climate Action Registry: $5-$11/mt CO2 • Mature International Markets • EU Emissions Trading Scheme: $10-$40/mt CO2 • Projections for Early US Market • Markey-Waxman Bill : $10-$15/mt CO2
    8. 8. GHG Reduction Reduction Size Qualify for Carbon Finance? Sequestration Large Yes Fuel switch Medium Likely to be capped Less fertilizer  fewer soil emissions (N2O and CH4) Medium/Large Hard to measure Less fertilizer  less fertilizer production Small/Medium Indirect, hard to measure, likely to be capped Biochar GHG Reductions
    9. 9. Currently Methodologies Avoidance of methane production from biomass decay through controlled pyrolysis • Small scale • No credit for carbon sequestration, but… • Char must be “biologically inert” • Volatile C/Fixed C ratio lower than 50%
    10. 10. Next Step: Sequestered Carbon Carbon Gold methodology for proposed to the Voluntary Carbon Standard
    11. 11. Outline • Theory of offsets • How offsets could support biochar projects • Methodology issues • Current funding from The Climate Trust
    12. 12. Unresolved Methodology Issues • Recalcitrance • Guarantee 100 years of permanent sequestration • Carbon Gold: Volatile C/Fixed C ratio lower than 50% • Soil monitoring • What happens to char that erodes out of the soils?
    13. 13. Unresolved Methodology Issues • Ownership – Three entities, same reduction 1. Feedstock owner 2. Pyrolysis plant 3. Land owner • Carbon Gold: Credits pyrolysis plant • Sequestered carbon can only be claimed once
    14. 14. Unresolved Methodology Issues • Environmental impact – Heavy metals – Criteria air pollutants – Microbe health – Carbon already in soil
    15. 15. Resolved Issue: Waste Feedstocks • Leakage – Changes in emissions outside the project itself • Direct: Biomass fuel unavailable • Indirect: displace current farm land for biochar feedstock plantations  land use change • Carbon Gold: “biomass that would otherwise have been left to decay or been burned in an uncontrolled manner”
    16. 16. Outline • Theory of offsets • How offsets could support biochar projects • Methodology issues • Current funding from The Climate Trust
    17. 17. • 3 Programs • Oregon Program • Smart Energy • Colorado Carbon Fund • 16 projects, $8.8 million in funding, 2.6 million tons of CO2 offset • Non-profit - Laboratory for innovative offset projects
    18. 18. Project Development Timeline Proposal Due Diligence Contract Negotiation Commercial Operation Annual Monitoring Upfront Payment Annual payment “upon delivery”
    19. 19. Peter Weisberg Offset Project Analyst pweisberg@climatetrust.org 503-238-1915 x 207

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