Overhauling Carbon Accounting | Biomassmagazine.com

Overhauling Carbon Accounting | Biomassmagazine.com

Improved carbon accounting methodology for biogas initiatives will
be a game-changer for the business.

  • Overhauling Carbon Accounting | Biomassmagazine.com

At present, the biogas business lacks a complete accounting methodology that allows a standardized, secure market surroundings for carbon discount and elimination ensuing from biogas initiatives. This might be particularly helpful to market patrons engaged in voluntary carbon discount actions.

To resolve this drawback, the American Biogas Council has engaged EcoEngineers to plan, develop and publish an improved carbon accounting methodology. This new methodology will use frameworks from present methodologies to measure the carbon depth of all biogas initiatives and extra numerous finish makes use of, by the tip of 2023. ABC and Eco hope this technique will make it simpler for biogas initiatives to quantify and market carbon advantages from renewable pure fuel (RNG), biogas electrical energy and digestate.

Demand for low-carbon and carbon-negative merchandise has by no means been stronger. Carbon accounting, carbon reporting and verification, and product labeling are rising as among the largest enterprise disruptors of this century. Firms throughout the spectrum are searching for methods to decarbonize, incorporate carbon discount transparency and accountability into product methods, provide chains and operations throughout their whole worth chain, thus enabling aggressive differentiation, progress and worth creation.

RNG, electrical energy from biogas, and digestate are low-carbon substitutes for pure fuel, grid electrical energy and artificial fertilizers, respectively. Finish customers can declare carbon reductions by substituting fossil-derived gasoline, electrical energy or vitamins with equal merchandise derived from biogenic feedstocks. This declare is quantified by a lifecycle carbon evaluation (LCA) and its ensuing carbon depth (CI) rating, which, when in comparison with a business-as-usual baseline, quantifies the carbon discount in metric tons (MT) of CO2 equal. These carbon reductions can then be offered on carbon buying and selling platforms and markets, or used for inner carbon discount objectives.

Utilizing present frameworks as a foundation, such because the California Low Carbon Gas Normal pathway for RNG and the Greenhouse Gasoline Protocol, this improved methodology will develop a powerful, science-based carbon accounting framework. The framework can be utilized to measure the carbon depth of biogas initiatives extra fully and extra precisely, lifecycle CI enhancements from a broader array of feedstock baselines, biogas system designs, and a extra numerous array of finish makes use of and merchandise, past what the present frameworks ponder.

At the moment’s Methodology
At present, California’s LCFS and its modified Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions and Vitality use in Applied sciences (GREET) mannequin are the usual used to signify the discount in carbon footprint the place particular feedstock-to-end-use pathways for RNG or biogas electrical energy for transportation are eligible to earn credit. Nonetheless, the principles are considerably arbitrary—for instance, the California LCFS at the moment acknowledges methane seize at dairies, however not at beef cattle tons or different kinds of manures.

One other frequent framework contains personal, voluntary carbon registries, largely used at this time by landfill biogas methods. These are, once more, for distinctive feedstock to end-use pathways allowed by particular guidelines of the registry. Different entities permit the sale of RNG with out a CI label, however as soon as once more, restrict it to an arbitrary listing of permitted pathways and assumptions.

LCA and CI scores for biogas are inconsistently valued and utilized throughout regulatory and voluntary markets, opening the sector to pointless scrutiny. For instance, environmental coalitions and a few nongovernmental organizations have challenged the carbon discount potential of biogas-based methods when combustion happens at any scale, when agricultural lands are used for manufacturing, or when manure storage is concerned. An improved lifecycle methodology, as undertaken by the Eco and ABC work, seeks to make the true carbon influence of these items of the pathway clear, constant and clear. The present patchwork of methods excludes helpful contributions to carbon discount efforts, and in some instances, leaves biogas methods ineligible to take part in packages and markets.

The Resolution
Eco has been employed by ABC to develop a strategy and related protocols to measure, report and validate the carbon discount and elimination embodied in typical biogas methods, together with these producing RNG, electrical energy and nonenergy merchandise like digestate. To develop the methodology, we’re offering a number of alternatives for stakeholders throughout the business to have interaction and supply helpful suggestions that may finally form the ultimate product.

By combining a science-based method with business considerations and know-how, this improved methodology will cowl the most typical biogas initiatives and supply a transparent roadmap to quantify and monetize the environmental advantages related to vitality and nutrient manufacturing.

With the assistance of this technique, biogas homeowners, builders and clients will be capable of decide the CI of their particular biogas undertaking and be extra inclusive of feedstocks and undertaking varieties not at the moment acknowledged by the LCFS for methane avoidance credit. As well as, the methodology will try to stay throughout the bounds of frequent greenhouse fuel protocols.

Since RNG, electrical energy from biogas, and digestate are prime candidates to benefit from the worldwide surge in demand for decarbonized merchandise, this technique ought to make it simpler for biogas initiatives to have interaction with the rising voluntary carbon market. It can create a extra common language for biogas methods and foster innovation throughout the sector as new expertise, design and sustainable agricultural practices emerge as contributors to carbon discount alternatives, resulting in larger funding throughout the business.

Lastly, to construct confidence in and adoption of the ensuing methodology, a powerful carbon accounting framework, methodology, monitoring, reporting and verification plan is required. Past biogas, this new methodology can act as a place to begin for different sectors that will use biogas as an enter to their merchandise, superior liquid biofuels or hydrogen, and might function a framework for growing comparable methodologies in different industries. It will likely be game-changing.

Writer: Brad Pleima
President, EcoEngineers
[email protected]