Australia govt to develop more project types for ERF

Published 03:50 on October 29, 2015  /  Last updated at 03:50 on October 29, 2015  /  Asia Pacific, Australia  /  No Comments

Australia’s Department of Environment is currently developing a series of new methods to allow more project types to become eligible to bid for contracts under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Australia’s Department of Environment is currently developing a series of new methods to allow more project types to become eligible to bid for contracts under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Some 520 projects are eligible to bid at the Nov. 4-5 ERF auction, although many of those were already up and running before the fund was launched.

The Department of Environment on Thursday released a list of new methods it is developing in order to allow more projects generate emission cuts in the future.

“The priorities have been determined to ensure that activities offer the greatest opportunity for uptake and genuine abatement. Priority activities are identified annually to provide a forward work plan for method scoping and development,” Environment Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.

The new methods include:

– Avoiding methane emissions due to stockpiling of poultry litter and stabilising the carbon content in the form of biochar.
– Improving energy efficiency by installing variable speed drives on existing constant speed electric motor driven systems, such as fans, pumps or conveyors.
– Reducing fugitive methane emissions from coal mines.
– Allowing for a single project to include multiple forest sequestration activities currently covered by separate ERF methods.
– Allowing for shifting to early dry season fire management to result in sequestration through an increase in carbon stocks in the debris pool.
– Estimating potential abatement from new commercial plantations and the conversion of short-rotation plantations to long-rotation plantations.
– Reducing organic waste going to landfill by diverting waste sorted at point of origin.

In the first auction, held in April, the government contracted the purchase of 47 million offsets at a total cost of A$660 million.

Hunt has since proclaimed the auction one of the world’s most successful climate policies, although data showed that 75% of the projects that won contracts in that auction were already up and running.

“There is strong interest. Five hundred projects are already registered. I am confident of another stellar result,” Hunt told a conference in Hobart on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, analysts Reputex predicted the second auction could surpass A$1 billion in overall value as some big emitters are now eligible to join, leaving only A$900 million left in the fund.

Interest remains strong despite some criticism that the government is reducing transparency in order to keep prices down.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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