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DT Vollmer

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The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) today announced the first seven carbon-crediting methodologies that meet its high-integrity Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) (see our earlier bulletin on the CCPs here). The ICVCM assesses categories of carbon credit projects (methodologies and/or protocols) to determine whether they can be labelled as “CCP-Approved” and used by a “CCP-Eligible” program, which currently includes the American Carbon Registry (ACR), Architecture for REDD+ Transaction TREES, Climate Action Reserve (CAR), Gold Standard (GS), and Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). The ICVCM noted that the CCP label can now be used on an estimated 27M carbon credits issued from the two categories of CCP-Approved methodologies. The approval of the methodologies follows the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement last week setting out principles for high-integrity voluntary carbon markets that relied heavily on the CCPs and other carbon crediting certification standards (see our earlier bulletin here).   This bulletin sets out the approved methodologies and provides an update on the assessment of other categories of carbon credits by the ICVCM:   Approved Methodologies The ICVCM approved the following ozone depleting substances (ODS) and landfill gas (LFG) methodologies as meeting the CCP criteria and rules, enabling the respective CCP-Eligible programs to issue CCP-labelled carbon credits from eligible projects. ODS methodologies. The following ODS methodologies are CCP-Approved: ACR’s Destruction of ODS from International Sources version 1.0;  CAR’s Article 5 ODS Project Protocol versions 1-2; and CAR’s U.S. ODS Project Protocol versions 1-2.  LFG methodologies. The following LFG methodologies are CCP-Approved: the Clean Development Mechanism’s (CDM) ACM0001 – Flaring or use of Landfill Gas versions 15-19, used by Verra and GS;  CDM’s AMS iii G – Landfill Methane Recovery version 10, used by Verra and GS;  ACR’s Landfill Gas Destruction and Beneficial Use Projects version 1-2; and  CAR’s US Landfill Protocol version 6.  Ongoing assessment of methodologies through Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups (MSWG). ICVCM indicated that it continues to conduct internal and MSWG reviews of the following six…

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday announced the 24 semi-finalists selected for the Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Purchase Pilot Prize (the Prize). The Prize will ultimately provide up to $35M in the form of CDR Purchase Agreements from the DOE. The Phase 1 semi-finalists will each receive $50K to scale CDR approaches across four pathways: (i) direct air capture (DAC) with storage; (ii) biomass with carbon removal and storage; (iii) enhanced rock weathering and mineralization; and (iv) planned or managed carbon sinks. The Prize aims to develop CDR markets, demonstrate rigorous monitoring practices, and model workforce and community benefits. The Phase 1 semi-finalists under each category of the Prize are: DAC with Storage Avnos, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA). Hybrid DAC technology that produces 5 tons of water per ton of CO2 captured, while eliminating external heat input. Delivery proposal: 3,000 CDR credits. Carbon America (Arvada, CO). Carbon America and Global Thermostat leverage Colorado’s diverse assets to demonstrate a scalable model for DAC-powered carbon dioxide removal. Delivery proposal: 3,400 CDR credits.  CarbonCapture, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA). Stores captured carbon in low-carbon concrete. Delivery proposal: 3,333 CDR credits. Climeworks (Austin, TX). Project Cypress, a DAC plus storage project in Louisiana, builds on the company’s Mammoth plant to reach a megaton scale by 2030. Delivery proposal: 3,500 CDR credits. Global Thermostat and Fervo Energy (Brighton, CO). Building a high efficiency, zero-carbon energy, integrated DAC, and geothermal deployment. Delivery proposal: 3,500 CDR credits.    Heirloom (Brisbane, CA). Employs carbon mineralization (using limestone as a feedstock) to remove CO2 from the air, and then permanently store it. Delivery proposal: 3,030 CDR credits. 1PointFive (Houston, TX). The Stratos DAC facility will capture up to 500K MtCO2/year when fully operational. Delivery proposal: 3,861 CDR credits.  280 Earth (Palo Alto, CA). Uses DAC technology designed for modularity and scalability, integrating mechanical and…

The Biden-Harris Administration (the Administration) yesterday launched the Federal-State Modern Grid Deployment Initiative (the Initiative), along with an accompanying fact sheet. The Initiative brings together states, federal entities, and U.S. power sector stakeholders to expand grid capacity and build modern grid capabilities on both new and existing transmission and distribution lines. Implementing these solutions is expected to increase integration of renewables and clean energy sources, with the U.S. set to build more new electric generation capacity than it has in 20 years (96% of it being clean energy). The Initiative is intended to complement last month’s announcement of a public-private mobilization to upgrade 100,000 miles of existing transmission lines over the next five years. This bulletin briefly summarizes the Initiative’s key state and federal commitments: Mutual federal-state commitments. The Initiative aims to address the challenges and opportunities posed by increased load growth, a rapidly evolving energy landscape, aging infrastructure, and new grid-enhancing technologies while ensuring reliable, clean, and affordable energy for consumers. The U.S. government and participating states jointly commit to: deploy advanced grid technologies to expand capacity and enhance both new and existing transmission and distribution lines; recognize that modern grid technologies are essential for a comprehensive energy strategy, complementing the need to build out new transmission and distribution lines; work to increase state and federal cooperation for both intraregional and interregional transmission planning efforts; work collaboratively with solution providers, industry, labour organizations, and trusted validators to build a diverse workforce and ensure grid owners and operators have access to training and equipmentneeded to support modern technology deployment; facilitate collaboration among stakeholders and communities to share how to improve siting, regulatory, and economic structures most effectively; and explore opportunities to establish innovative partnership models, pool resources, and jointly plan transmission and distribution infrastructure development. State commitments. 21 state governments,…

The Biden-Harris Administration (the Administration) today released the Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) Joint Policy Statement and Principles (the Principles), along with an accompanying fact sheet (the Fact Sheet). The Principles represent the U.S. government’s affirmation that high-integrity VCMs can and should play a meaningful role in reducing and removing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and support the objective of global net-zero emissions by 2050. The Principles support the Administration’s commitment to ensuring VCMs effectively channel private capital into innovative technological and nature-based solutions, while also protecting natural ecosystems and supporting the U.S. and international partners in achieving their climate objectives.   The Principles follow other key U.S. climate-related legislation and policies, including the Inflation Reduction Act (see our earlier bulletin here), climate adaptation and resilience plans for federal agencies (see our earlier bulletin here), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Principles for Net-Zero Financing and Investment, released last year, supporting the development and execution of strong net-zero commitments and transition plans by financial institutions, with a focus on Scope 3 financed and facilitated GHG emissions.   This bulletin briefly summarizes the Principles, their anticipated role in addressing climate change, and other ongoing U.S. government actions to support VCMs.    Principles for high-integrity VCMs. The Principles provide seven principles for high-integrity VCMs, drawing from existing best practices for credit certification standards, including the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), the G7’s Principles for High-Integrity Carbon Markets, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s proposed guidance regarding the listing of voluntary carbon credit derivative contracts (December 2023), the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets (ICVCM) Core Carbon Principles (see our earlier bulletin here), and relevant decisions under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. The Principles are as follows: Carbon credits and the activities that generate them should meet credible atmospheric integrity standards and represent real decarbonization. Credit-generating activities should avoid environmental and social harm and should, where applicable, support…

Ontario’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (the Ministry) has announced new draft amendments (the Proposed Amendments) to O. Reg. 429/04, Adjustments Under Section 25.33 of the Act (the Regulations). The Regulations establish the global adjustment (GA) fees Ontario’s large commercial electricity consumers must pay to fund the cost of non-wholesale market electricity contracts pursuant to section 25.33 of the Electricity Act, 1998 (the Act). The Proposed Amendments are based on feedback received from stakeholders during the consultation held in late 2023. The anticipated effective date for the Proposed Amendments is May 1, 2025.   This bulletin briefly summarizes the Proposed Amendments and key information.   Background. The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) began procuring new clean electricity resources in 2023 as directed by the province’s Powering Ontario’s Growth plan. The IESO initiated electricity capacity resource procurement in 2023 and plans to start electricity energy resource procurement in 2024. Key objectives. The Proposed Amendments seek to support the growth in procurement of new clean generation in the province. This is done by allowing Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) Class A market participants to offset their facility’s demand in the top five peak hours of a base period for settlement purposes by entering into power purchase agreements (PPAs) with non-emitting generation facilities that are not connected behind the facility’s meter.   Eligible technologies. The types of eligible technologies under the Proposed Amendments are wind, solar, hydroelectric, and biofuel. In making the announcement, the Ministry stated that it recognizes the interest in pairing these technologies with energy storage and small modular reactors (SMRs), but deferred inclusion of these additional technologies due to implementation complexities. Energy storage resources are critical to a cost-effective, safe, clean, and reliable electricity grid, and the Ministry may wish to consider expediting the eligibility of energy storage (particularly battery electric storage) under the Proposed Amendments.   Stakeholder feedback. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to submit feedback on the Proposed Amendments by June…