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.


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.

I gave the following presentation at the 2012 AgStar Conference. The Climate Action Reserve organized a workshop, and I was asked to provide a case study and discuss carbon finance and how it can interact with the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program. My presentation is on-line here.

The slide below shows Kevin and Daryl Maas, the owners of Farm Power, receiving a $500,000 grant and 80% loan guarantee from USDA REAP. These loan guarantees are key to enabling debt financing, and could, in the future, guarantee upfront carbon purchases.