A proposed variation to the Emission Reduction Fund’s (ERF) Coal mine waste gas Method was issued earlier this week by the Department of Environment & Energy, outlining potential changes designed to ‘expand the coverage of methane conversion processes’ under the Method (determination). The proposed method variation is now open for public consultation until Monday 29th August 2016.
According to the Department the expanded coverage of the method will enable recognition of ’emissions reductions delivered through the use of Ventilation Air Methane (VAM) oxidation devices’, which converts low concentration methane into carbon dioxide (CO2). According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, methane emissions naturally decays into CO2 over one or two decades, however during this period methane “warms the planet by 86 times as much as CO2”. In this sort of short time frame methane has the potential to be much more destructive than carbon dioxide.
The ERF’s Coal mine waste gas Method currently issues ACCU’s for new and expansion flaring projects (methane destruction activity) and electricity production projects (methane combustion activity), however the new variations outlined in the Method Variation Explanatory Statement will enable generation of credits from ventilation air methane oxidation projects (methane conversion activity).
The Department has also noted that these changes include abatement calculation revisions which serve to:
- reflect the updated Global Warming Potential of methane;
- clarify the calculations for quantifying abatement for projects that displace electricity with electricity generated from coal mine waste gas; and
- allow crediting for emissions reductions from both the flaring of coal mine waste gas and the generation of electricity in the same project.
To find out more about the proposed changes, supporting documentation and submissions templates from the Department of Environment & Energy, click here.