ImageI’m part of a team, along with Ducks Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy, that wrote a carbon offset protocol to credit landowners who place prairie into permanent conservation easements for the value of the carbon sequestered in their soil. The methodology is now approved by the American Carbon Registry and available here. Our work will provided a financial incentive to prevent our prairie from looking like this!

I was very excited to present the work I have been doing assessing the potential value of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits, Renewable Identification Numbers and carbon offsets to biogas projects. To put this value into to context, I modeled the returns that could be expected from a 5,000 cow dairy digester whose biogas is cleaned and used as transportation  fuel. Here is the summary slide:

Weisberg Biocycle 2013 Presentation money shot

This project (with an estimated $11.05 million capital cost) is estimated to have a 7.8% ten year, pre-tax internal rate of return based on the revenue generated by selling transportation fuel, tipping fees, nutrients and bedding. The presentation explores the returns added by selling all three environmental credits under a variety of potential price scenarios.

I’m volunteering for the Community Cycling Center, a non-profit in Portland that promotes biking in low income communities. I’m interviewing Spanish-speaking participants in their programs to tell their story on-line. My first article, Get to know Loudres Montes from ABC, is on the Community Cycling Center’s blog.

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Below is my interview with the Harvesting Clean Energy Report about the DeRuyter feasibility study:

I’m leading a team from the International Biochar Initiative and the Prasino Group in the development of a methodology which will determine what biochar projects qualify to generate carbon credits and how those credits will be quantified. I introduced our protocol with this presentation at the 2012 US Biochar conference in Sonoma, California.

I was part of a team, along with Washington State University, that analyzed the economic impact of implementing two new technologies at the DeRuyter digester: 1) using biogas to generate transportation fuel rather than electricity, and 2) implementing full-scale nutrient recovery. Here is a summary of my findings for the report and here is the full report.

I specifically studied the Renewable Identification Numbers associated with biogas as a transportation fuel and the potential to earn carbon credits for reduced N2O emissions from nutrient recovery. I presented the results of our study in a brownbag presentation, whose powerpoint I’ve embeded below:

Biocycle published an article I wrote about how California’s carbon market can support biogas and composting projects entitled “California’s Emerging Carbon Market.” The article discusses what carbon is worth for livestock digester projects, and advocates for California to adopt new protocols to support the digestion and composting of other organic wastes.

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