New electricity regulations in danger of steering off course with biomass generation

Monday, July 26, 2010

The province’s investment in biomass could result in sustainability dead end

HALIFAX, NS – July 26, 2010 – Scotian Carbon Services released its submission to the Department of Energy’s Renewable Electricity consultation process. The carbon management consulting firm is concerned about the government’s thrust to promote biomass combustion as part of its renewable electricity strategy.

The Scotian Carbon Services submission explains that most international protocols for greenhouse gas accounting dictate that emissions from biomass combustion is accounted for separately from all other greenhouse gas activities. There is a growing trend among jurisdictions in North America and Europe to exclude biomass from their renewable electricity totals.

“The government of Nova Scotia has gone to a lot of trouble to craft a renewable electricity plan that will help them reach the aggressive emission reduction targets in their Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act (EGSPA)”, said Manager of Carbon Services, Gay Harley. “It would be a shame if a significant chunk of their investment could not be accounted for as creditable emission reductions.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) dictates that CO2 emissions from biomass be reported separately from all other scopes in official National Inventories. As well, Nova Scotia’s Department of Environment promotes the accounting protocol used by The Climate Registry as their standard for greenhouse gas accounting. The Climate Registry meets the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) criteria for greenhouse gas inventories. In that standard, biomass combustion is reported separately from other forms of electricity generation.

It is important that universal standards be developed for carbon accounting, so that reporting can be compared across jurisdictions and so that targets and emission reductions have credibility and result in genuine reductions. That is why it is important that Nova Scotia design its programs and targets to integrate with domestic and international accounting standards. With the global practice to exclude biomass accounting from general emission reduction inventory, Nova Scotia may be steering toward a sustainability dead end in their biomass policy. The money invested in promoting electricity from biomass in an effort to meet provincial emission reduction targets may simply be wasted taxpayer resources.

Click here to download the complete Scotian Carbon Services submission to the Department of Energy.

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For More Information:
Gay Harley
Manager, Carbon Services
Scotian Carbon Services
902-449-4167
gharley@scotianwindfields.ca

About Scotian Carbon Services
Scotian Carbon Services (SCS) is a division of Scotian WindFields. SCS was established to provide practical expertise to guide businesses through the confusing landscape and regulation of the new carbon economy. SCS also helps business take advantage of opportunities by providing professional consultation in carbon credit registration and sales. Our staff has experience in international carbon credit project development and sales as well as CSA certification in domestic carbon management.