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Archive for September 17th, 2007

NSW planners prepare to close NGACs system; prepare for transition to national emissions trading

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

The announcement by the Prime Minister in early June that the Commonwealth Government will introduce a national emissions trading scheme follows the announcement in February by all state and territory leaders that their governments would, in the absence of a Commonwealth commitment, implement a national emissions trading scheme by the end of 2010, reported GGAS Newsletter, Issue 5 (10/9/2007).

Transition to national scheme: “Clearly it is now highly likely that Australia will, one way or the other, have a national cap and trade emissions trading scheme within the next five years. Both proposals make clear that the ongoing operation of GGAS would be inconsistent with a national scheme and that transition arrangements will be necessary. The GGAS Scheme Administrator will work with relevant policy agencies as required in assisting with the development of transition proposals,” the newsletter said.

13.8m certificates surrendered: “During 2006 there was a very high level of compliance with Scheme requirements by both benchmark participants and accredited certificate providers,” reported the newsletter. “All benchmark participants have reduced or offset their emissions to their benchmark levels in 2006 or have carried forward a small shortfall. These offset obligations were met through the surrender of 13,802,181 abatement certificates (or their equivalent in Renewable Energy Certificates) representing abatement of an equivalent number of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. …At the end of 2006, there were 167 accredited abatement certificate providers eligible to create abatement certificates, an increase from 146 providers accredited at the end of 2005. This represents a growth in participation in the Scheme by organisations undertaking activities to reduce emissions or enhance the removal of greenhouse gases.”

Numbers of certificates almost double: “These projects created almost 20 million abatement certificates during 2006, which is almost double the 10 million created in 2005. In 2006, the NSW Government extended the Scheme to 2021 or until the establishment of a national emissions trading scheme.” An electronic copy of the report can be downloaded from the Scheme website at

Reference: GGAS Newsletter, Issue 5, September 2007

Erisk Net, 10/9/2007

Posted in Credits, NSW | Leave a Comment »

Buyer beware: “Voluntary” credit NGAC buyers warned NSW government does not verify the green-accounting, of the seller

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

Over the past two years, the level of interest in using NSW Greenhouse Abatement Certificates (NGACs) to voluntarily offset greenhouse gas emissions had increased significantly, according to the GGAS Newsletter, of the NSW government, Issue 5, (10/9/2007). “Much of this interest comes from increasing desire to achieve a ‘carbon neutral’ status by individuals and organisations,” the newsletter said.

Summary of the year: “Evidence suggests NGACs are considered to have broad appeal as a standard instrument traded on the open market representing one tCO2-e of abatement. For the 2006 calendar year;

• 2,660 NGACs were voluntarily surrendered and this year to date;

• over 6,100 NGACs have been voluntarily surrendered.

To facilitate this ‘voluntary’ market participation, the GGAS Registry was upgraded in 2006 to allow organisations other than benchmark participants (the liable parties) to surrender NGACs. It should be noted that while the Scheme Administrator accepts voluntary surrenders through the Registry, it does not provide any verification as to whether the volume of NGACs surrendered equates to the participant achieving carbon neutrality.”

Surrendered certificates cannot be reused: “To voluntarily surrender (also known as retire) NGACs, an account on the Registry must be opened and NGACs transferred into that account. Certificates can then be surrendered on the Registry.

Not an offset: Purchasing and holding NGACs in a Registry account does not equate to achieving an offset. NGACs must be surrendered to be effective in offsetting a participant’s carbon footprint. There are important deadlines that voluntary participants need to consider when deciding to surrender NGACs. Individuals can voluntarily surrender NGACs at any time between 1 July and 20 June of each financial year.

Certificates that have been surrendered before 20 June of each financial year will be accepted by the Scheme Administrator and on 30 June of each year all surrendered certificates will be cancelled by the Registry and the certificates cannot be un-surrendered or reused. As a tradeable commodity with a market value, voluntary participants should carefully consider the volume of NGACs they wish to surrender to offset their carbon footprint, as once surrendered, the commodity cannot be retrieved.”

Reference: For further information regarding opening and managing an account on the Registry see the Registry FAQs on our website at
For further information regarding the process for voluntary surrender on the Registry, see the fact sheet on our website at
GGAS Newsletter, Issue 5, September 2007,

Erisk Net, 10/9/2007

Posted in Credits, NSW | Leave a Comment »

New NSW NGAC rules cut-back give-away light bulb, showerhead trades after trades spiked to 2.8 million CFLs, 60,000 showerheads, in June 2007 quarter

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

 Changes to the Demand Side Abatement (DSA) Rule, implemented in October 2006, had resulted in an increase in the proportion of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and water-efficient showerheads directly installed, reported NSW government greenhouse registry GGAS Newsletter, Issue 5 (10/9/2007).

Fewer giveaway programs: “In the quarter to June 2007, over 80 per cent of CFLs and 70 per cent of showerheads distributed by GGAS accredited Abatement Certificate Providers (ACPs) were installed rather than given away. Only two ACPs are now conducting giveaway programs,” the newsletter reported. “2.8 million CFLs were distributed in the quarter to June 2007, double the number distributed in the March quarter. In total, over 16 million CFLs have been distributed since the Scheme commenced. Over 60,000 showerheads were distributed in the same period, bringing the total number of showerheads distributed under the Scheme to 1.3 million.”

Varied business models: “There are now 10 ACPs accredited for projects distributing CFLs and showerheads, with nine applications currently under consideration by the Scheme Administrator,” the newsletter said. “In response to the growing variety of business models used by ACPs and applicants, the Scheme Administrator recently circulated for comment proposed minimum requirements for Default Abatement Factor (DAF) installation programs. These seek to achieve consistency across the Scheme with respect to legal relationships between ACPs and installers, installer training, and customer service. Currently, the Scheme Administrator is evaluating the feedback received. Accredited ACPs will have a two month period to adjust their programs before the minimum requirements are introduced. The Scheme Administrator would like to thank all those who provided feedback on the proposal.”

Reference: GGAS Newsletter, Issue 5, September 2007

Erisk Net, 10/9/2007

Posted in Credits, NSW | Leave a Comment »

Australia claims APEC carbon trade: 20 million hectares Asia-Pacific reforestation by 2020. 1.4 billion tonnes of carbon

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

 The government was trying to sell the APEC summit as producing tangible outcomes, not just an esoteric debate about aspirational goals and no binding targets, reported The Australian Financial Review (10/9/2007, p. 14).

APEC has set specific goals: The government strategy was based on the fact that APEC itself had set energy efficiency and reforestation targets that Foreign Minister Alexander Downer yesterday said were “specific goals that mean things to people”, the newspaper said.

A major step forward? According to The Australian Financial Review: “These goals include reforesting a minimum of 20 million hectares in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020 (which would absorb about 1.4 billion tonnes of carbon, which is 11 per cent of the annual total CO2 emissions of the world) and improving energy efficiency in APEC countries by 25 per cent by 2030.

The Australian Financial Review, 10/9/2007, p. 14

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APEC not the main game: real deal is United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, which next meets in Bali in December

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

A Phillipines President Gloria Arroyo welcomed climate change discussions at APEC but said the key forum for final negotiations remained the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, which next meets in Bali in December. Australian officials had drafted am APEC flexible deal that stopped short of setting long-term goals for emissions reductions, accommodating the concerns of developing APEC countries, reported The Australian (6/9/2007, p. 1). Draft rewritten: Instead, they wanted to put energy efficiency, which involved reducing fuel use to cut greenhouse emissions, as the centrepiece of prime minister John Howard’s APEC climate change initiative. The draft text on Howard’s Sydney Declaration on climate change, which was being debated by officials, had been significantly rewritten since an earlier version was leaked by Greenpeace two weeks ago.

The Australian, 6/9/2007, p. 1

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Australian Federal House of Representative Standing Committee on Science and Innovation proposes subsidies to make coal CO2 dumps make money

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

More funding, more funding, rigorous regulation, indirect funding and more regulation were the five recommendations presented by the Federal House of Representative’s Standing Committee on Science and Innovation’s report titled Between a rock and a hard place: The science of geosequestration. Funding for CSIRO: In its first recommendation on carbon capture and storage: “Recommendation 1 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government provide funding to the CSIRO to progress research being conducted through the CO2CRC to assess the storage potential for permanent CO2 geosequestration in sedimentary basins in New South Wales, particularly the off-shore Sydney Basin, and the economic viability of these sites.”

Funds to show how: Regarding Australian CCS demonstration projects, the committee made “Recommendation 2 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government fund one or more large-scale projects which will demonstrate the operation and integration of the CCS — capture, transportation and sequestration and monitoring. The Government’s assessment of which project(s) will receive funding will be based on a competitive tender process.”

Covering risk: The environmental benefits and risks of CCS and public perception of them led to: “Recommendation 3 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government implement a rigorous regulatory environmental risk mitigation framework for CCS which covers:

• Criteria for CCS site selection and an assessment of the environmental impact at selected sites;

• Assessment of the risk of abrupt or gradual leakage, and appropriate response strategies; and

• Requirements for long-term site monitoring and reporting.”

Financial incentives: On the economic benefits and costs of CCS the committee made “Recommendation 4 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, as part of its broader fiscal response to climate change, employ financial incentives, both direct and tax based, in an effort to encourage science and industry to continue developing and testing CCS technology.”

Liability spread over three phases: Turning to the legislative and regulatory framework, the committee offered “Recommendation 5 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, following industry consultation, develop legislation to define the financial liability and ongoing monitoring responsibilities at a geosequestration site. The Committee recommends that financial liability and site responsibility should consist of three phases:

• Full financial liability and responsibility for site safety and monitoring should rest with industry operators for the injection phase and a subsequent length of time (this time to be determined by the Australian Government subject to specific site risk analysis);

• Following the above specified time, shared financial liability and responsibility for site safety and monitoring should rest equally with industry operators and state, territory and Australian governments in the longer term. The exact length of this shared responsibility and liability phase should be determined by the governments subject to specific site risk analysis; and

• Following the determined phase of shared liability and responsibility, full financial liability and responsibility for site safety and monitoring should be transferred to the two spheres of government in perpetuity.”

Reference: Between a rock and a hard place: The science of geosequestration. House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Science and Innovation, August 2007, Canberra. For Media comment: contact the Committee Chair, Mr Petro Georgiou MP. Phone (02) 6277 4419 or the Deputy Chair, Mr Harry Quick MP. Phone: (02) 6277 4304. For information: contact the Committee Secretary. Phone: (02) 6277 4150. Issued by: Liaison and Projects Office, House of Representatives. Phone: (02) 6277 2392. Copies of the report can be obtained from the website:

Erisk Net, 13/8/2007

Posted in CO2 Dumps | Leave a Comment »

Asian Brown Cloud as much to blame for warming in the Himalayas over past half century as GHG; biofuel cooking, biomass burning contributes to dark sooty mass

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

 In a study released by the British journal Nature, the investigators said the so-called Asian Brown Cloud was as much to blame as greenhouse gases for the warming observed in the Himalayas over the past half century, reported The Canberra Times (2/8/2007, p.3).

Glaciers melt now, but droughts loom later: Rapid melting among the 46,000 glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, the third-largest ice mass on the planet, was already causing downstream flooding. But long-term worries focus more on the danger of drought, as the glaciers shrink. The report triggered an appeal from UN Environment Program chief Achim Steiner, who urged the international community “to ever greater action” on tackling climate change.

UAVs monitor Cloud from above: Researchers led by Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, used an innovative technique to explore the Asian Brown Cloud. The plume sprawls across South Asia, parts of Southeast Asia and the northern Indian Ocean. It spews from tailpipes, factory chimneys and power plants, forests or fields that were being burned for agriculture, and wood and dung which are burned for fuel. Professor Ramanathan’s team used three unmanned aircraft fitted with 15 instruments to monitor temperature, clouds, humidity and aerosols. The remote-controlled craft carried out 18 missions in March 2006, flying in a vertical stack over the Indian Ocean. The planes flew simultaneously through the Brown Cloud at heights of 500m, 1500m and 3000m.

Cloud exacerbates solar heating, melts mountain ice: They discovered that the cloud boosted the effect of solar heating on the air around it by nearly 50 per cent because its particles are soot, which is black and thus absorbs sunlight. The simulation estimated that, since 1950, South Asia’s atmosphere has warmed by 0.25C per decade at altitudes ranging from 2000m to 5000m above sea level – the height where thousands of Himalayan glaciers are located. As much as half of this warming could be attributed to the effects of brown clouds, Professor Ramanathan said.

Biomass burning produces Cloud: Roughly 60 per cent of the soot in South Asia comes from biofuel cooking and biomass burning, which could be eased by helping the rural poor get bottled gas or solar cookers, he said.

The Canberra Times, 2/8/2007, p. 3

Posted in Pollution, Smoke | Leave a Comment »

Not so easy being green: light bulb-trader trader seeks NSW state rescue after NSW carbon-price-crash

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

 According to Wendy Frew and Marian Wilkinson, a plunge in NSW carbon price – caused by an oversupplied market colliding with investor un-certainty – had critics say the State Government has made it too easy for polluters to partici-pate in the market and that the Federal Government has created ,long-term uncertainty about climate change policy.

Whinge of the week: Paul Gilding, the head of the high-profile energy saving com­pany Easy Being Green, told the Herald the scheme was in crisis and that the survival of his company was on the line. Easy Being Green is abso­lutely at risk of ceasing to exist in NSW if the price stays where it is,” he said. “It means the end of operations in this state and the end of 140 permanent jobs and 100 full-time contractors.”

NGACs feature in Owen Review: “The revelation of the crisis is an embarrassment for the NSW Government, which will release the Owen report this morning, recommending the sale of the state’s electricity retailers and generators. Under the scheme – the first of its kind in Australia – power plants, forestry groups and energy efficiency companies that act to cut greenhouse gas emissions are awarded certifi­cates, each one representing the equivalent of one tonne of carbon dioxide avoided. They sell these certificates to energy retailers, which have to meet mandatory emissions tar­gets set by the State Govern­ment. The costs are passed on to electricity consumers. The certificates generated since 2003 are estimated to be worth about $450 million. But over the past few months a series of federal and state policy an­nouncements has sent the market into a spin”.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 11/9/2007, p. 1

Posted in Carbon Price | Leave a Comment »

Macquarie Generation reveals giant solar plans, State CO2 dump policy, and plans for man-made mountains of solidified CO2

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

A submission to Owen Inquiry into Electricity Supply in NSW, by Grant Every-Burns, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Macquarie Generation shows Macquarie plans for credit-earning solar power, and for credit-earning CO2 dump projects and also new plans for man-made mountains of solidified CO2.

The Solar plan: “If financially viable, the provision of 200 hectares of solar collectors would reduce coal consumption by around 100,000 tonnes. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 180,000 tonnes or more than 3 per cent of what they would otherwise be from each 900 MW generating unit. In turn, the greenhouse gas emissions per unit of electricity sent out from Bayswater 2 would fall from around 0.8 tonnes to 0.775 tonnes/MWh.

All three State generators plan CO2 dumps: The three New South Wales State owned generators are currently working on a joint project to determine the availability of suitable geosequestration sites inside New South Wales. This work included;

• preliminary investigations into the availability of coal seam storage;

• and deep saline aquifer storage potential inside New South Wales.

Plans for NSW CO2 sump site: According to the submission “To date the areas which are showing some potential include deep coal seams in the Gunnedah Basin and large saline aquifers in the Darling Basin west of Cobar.

State-funded CO2 dump plans: “This work, commissioned by the three New South Wales State owned generators with the assistance of the Department of Primary Industries has indicated that there may be a need to reassess previous views and opinions which inferred that New South Wales was without any significant potential for major geosequestration.

CO2 dump working party:The New South Wales State owned generation businesses, coal industry participants, the Department of Primary Industries, and the Department of Water and Energy have established a working party to commission significant further research and potential trial drilling and injection over the next few years.

Man-made mountain plan by Macgen: Macquarie Generation is also considering potential trials by the CSIRO into a locally conceived process, an integrated one that would, if proven, see carbon dioxide permanently sequestered using minerals that are abundant in New South Wales, and be free of the concerns associated with securing the permanent storage of carbon dioxide as pressurised gas. The process if proven promises even lower sent out electricity prices and deployment perhaps by 2025.

Reference: Submission to Owen Inquiry into Electricity Supply in NSW, Macquarie Generation. G V Every-Burns, Chief Executive and Managing Dierector, 29 June 2007. PHone: +61 2 4968 7499 Fax +61 2 4968 7433 Website:

Erisk Net, 29/6/2007

Posted in CO2 Dumps | Leave a Comment »

NSW Greens explain how NSW could sidestep construction of 327MW peaker by banning installation of electric off-peak hot water systems in houses

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

NSW Greens MP John Kaye said NSW could sidestep the con­struction of a coal-fired power station, saving money and millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, by banning the installation of electric off-peak hot water systems in houses. His analysis of the state’s electricity needs was that replacing energy-intensive off-peak electric hot water sys­tems with gas and solar hot water over three years could cut demand enough to retire some existing coal-fired power plants, according to the work done by the NSW Greens, reported The Sydney Morning Herald, (10/9/2007, p. 9).

NSW Greens submission to Owen Review: The analysis was supported by a submission to the Owen Inquiry into the state’s electricity by the National Electricity Market Man­agement Co, which said; a fore­cast 327 megawatts of extra generation capacity needed by the summer of 2010-11 could be supplied by reducing demand. Phasing out electric off-peak water heating was a cost-effective alternative to coal-fired power stations, said the NSW Greens MP John Kaye.

Interest-free loans to consumers planned: “Providing interest-free loans to consumers to cover the increased purchase and installation costs would make the transition painless for most households,” Dr Kaye said.

The data – 2880MW overnight gen: The Greens’ analysis says off-peak electric hot water units need about 2880 megawatts of overnight generation capacity, about the same amount of elec­tricity the Bayswater power station in the Hunter Valley uses.

• Replacing electric off-peak water heaters that have reached the end of their lives with combin­ations of gas-boosted and electric-boosted solar hot water would;

• save between 1267 and 2189 megawatts of generation capacity, above the extra generation the state would need by 2011; and

• by year three, the elimination of off-peak electric hot water would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 537,000 tonnes a year.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 10/9/2007, p. 9

Posted in NSW | Leave a Comment »