EcoEngineers’ Carbon Literacy training is designed to bring together internal stakeholders, from the CEO, CFO and Chief Sustainability Officer to operations managers and frontline staff, to develop a shared vocabulary and speak the same language related to the energy transition.
Hundreds of attendees joined us for a sneak peek of this training and learned the basics of the new carbon world, and came away with ideas on how to educate your staff, investors, and stakeholders on these topics. The panelists also answered a number of questions at the end of the program.
We answer questions from our most recent webinar on credit stacking
Decarbonization has become a priority across every industry, and state and federal regulatory legislations cannot accommodate them all at once. This is where the voluntary carbon market shines. But what is the voluntary carbon market? Does your business qualify? And can your efforts be rewarded in both regulatory and voluntary markets? Experts at EcoEngineers answered these questions and more in our webinar on Dec. 20, 2022. Climate Risk Director Roxby Hartley, Ph.D., and Senior Carbon Consultant David LaGreca were the webinar experts. Together they have answered some of the more popular questions from the webinar below. Keep in mind without proper due diligence and knowledge gathering required to answer on specific projects, we are speaking mostly in industry generalities. Watch the full webinar here.
If carbon credits are sold (emissions have been reduced in the creation of such credits), can the project owner claim those reductions in addition to selling the credits?
DL: Short answer is no. There are claims that can be made, but not ones that directly apply the emissions reduction to the project owner.
How does one learn about the Voluntary Carbon Market?
DL: EcoEngineers has a whole suite of training and educational workshops including Carbon Literacy, Voluntary Markets 101, and more. Contact email@example.com to learn more. Another good resource is carboncredits.com. News media can be somewhat unreliable due to politicking.
Are removal credits and offset credits worth the same?
DL: Not at this moment. Nature-based removals credits (soils, afforestation, blue carbon) are presently commanding a premium over nature-based offset credits (avoided deforestation, avoided emissions, renewable energy, etc). Biochar, direct air capture, and other novel removal technologies are presently being offered at 10-100 times traditional offset credits.
Can companies operating outside of the US take advantage of credit stacking, too?
DL: Yes, however, 45Q and some other incentives are specifically for US-based operations. Credit stacking is a specialized approach to project finance that must be tailored to the particular geography and policy structure where the activity is taking place.
Beyond California, Oregon, and Washington — and now all of Canada — what do you see as the next state(s) to implement an LCFS program, and when?
RH: New Mexico and New York are the current front runners.
What is the impact of eRINs on credit stacking? ?
DL: RECs generation will likely be impacted, and it may impact the additionality of voluntary carbon credit projects. The program will likely be parallel to RINs as far as how it effects credit stacking with LCFS, voluntary markets, and tax incentives.
How do direct air capture CO2 (DAC), biogenic CO2, and post-combustion credits?
DL: The measurement, review, and verify (MRV) process is different for each crediting approach. Under 45Q of the IRA, the maximum credit value is the same. For voluntary crediting schemes, the various registries treat each one differently (ACR vs VCS). The value of each credit is different as well, with DAC commanding the highest price today, with carbon capture next, and post-combustion being of lower relative value.
Has the EPA approved woody biomass RINs for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)?
RH: No – but there are multiple projects interested in using lignocellulosic feedstocks for many different fuel.
If your RNG is used to make Hydrogen, can you earn carbon credits also?
DL: Most likely you could earn IRA tax incentives, but the methodology for offset credits using hydrogen requires particular feedstocks and monitoring. It is possible, on a case-by-case basis.
Do you know how long it takes for CARB to approve Sequestration Sites required to be counted for LCFS? Has this successfully been done?
RH: It took CARB about 2 1/2 years, but it has been done.
Decarbonization has become a priority across every industry, and state and federal regulatory legislations cannot accommodate them all at once. This is where the voluntary carbon market shines.
But what is the voluntary carbon market? Does your business qualify? And can your efforts be rewarded in both regulatory and voluntary markets? Experts at EcoEngineers answered these questions and more in our webinar on Dec. 20, 2022.
The panelists also answered a number of questions at the end of the program. Check back for our 10 Questions feature from the webinar panelists on our blog in the next couple of weeks!
Earlier in 2022, Carbon Consultant Sean Gassen presented at the International District Energy Association‘s conference in Toronto. His topic touched on the myriad of ways renewable natural gas, or RNG, can be used to lower the overall carbon footprint of a fuel, product, or process.
Sean dives into the basics of biogas and how it can be used for heat, electricity, or upgraded to RNG. He discusses how scope emissions can be minimized by using the fuel, too. For more information about this presentation or the topics discussed here, contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We answer questions from our most recent webinar on Canada’s fuel regulation
Canada announced its updated low-carbon fuel standard, the Clean Fuel Regulations (CFR), in July 2022 as an update to the legislation previously known as the Clean Fuel Standard. EcoEngineers experts gave a 10,000-foot view of the regulations in a webinar on Nov. 3, 2022. Regulatory Engagement Director Lisa Hanke and Ethanol Services Director Mark Heckman were panelists on the webinar. Together with Carbon Analyst Seyed Mousavi, who has done most of EcoEngineers’ internal research on the program’s carbon intensity calculator, they have answered some of the more popular questions from the webinar below. Keep in mind without proper due diligence and knowledge gathering required to answer on specific projects, we are speaking mostly in industry generalities. Watch the full webinar here.
What’s the average processing time for CI certification in the CFR?
Can CFR credits be stacked with U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) RIN credits?
MH: Exporters have to retire RINs for compliance within one month of the export event (this was a recent change in 2014).
LH: They can, however, be stacked with British Columbia’s LCFS credits.
Are there projections for the value of Canada compliance credits?
LH: There are no credible projections. Reports state amounts ranging from $25-$75/ton, but these are speculative.
Is there a deadline for production facilities to get registered in order to create pre-credits?
SM: Primary supplier must register with the ECCC no later than 45 days after the day that they have produced in Canada or imported into Canada during a compliance period a total volume of 400 m3 or more of gasoline or diesel. But unfortunately the opportunity for early credit generation is closed.
Will there be temporary CI pathways available for application?
SM: Yes, when the facility has less than three months of operating data, there is an alternative method suggested by ECCC to estimate the CI without using openLCA.
Can A US entity, with no operations in Canada, send qualifying renewable fuels to Canada and generate and market credits under the CFR?
MH: Yes, get registered!
Can you speak to the similarity of CI scores between GREET and OpenLCA for different types of fuels (e.g., hydrogen, RNG)?
SM: The CI score from CA GREET and openLCA will not be exactly the same, but there are similarities between these two approaches.
LH: You can also contact EcoEngineers to discuss completing a preliminary CI using the OpenLCA Model.
Is there an excel file for something that mimics OpenLCA that calculates CI ? Or do you have to download the software to input and see how the CI looks (dairy cows, etc). Is the model complete and ready to use?
SM: There is no workbook to calculate the CI value directly, and openLCA software with Fuel LCA Model needs to be used. However, there is CFR Data Workbook that carries all the calculations, and help enter the data into the software in the right format.
LH: The model is ready to use and can be found at openlca.org.
At what point in a project’s development should the facility become registered and a CI score application made?
LH: I agree. This process should be started as soon as required data is available to ensure fuel shipments can generate credits.
Does CFR consider “avoided methane” from manure? BC LCFS doesn’t consider this, and the CI of manure is high in that program.
SM: Yes, under the CFR, the baseline avoided emissions from dairy manure management are considered in the final CI of the RNG project. A similar approach to CARB is applied to estimate avoided emissions..
Canada announced its updated low-carbon fuel standard, the Clean Fuel Regulations (CFR), in July 2022 as an update to the legislation previously known as the Clean Fuel Standard. EcoEngineers experts gave a 10,000-foot view of the regulations in a webinar on Nov. 3, 2022.
The CFR requires liquid fuel importers to gradually reduce their products’ carbon intensity (CI) beginning in December 2023 and each subsequent year from a prescribed baseline, ultimately resulting in a 15% total decrease by 2030. Participants in similar regulations such as the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) will see some familiar requirements mixed with new terminology and CI models.
The panelists also answered a number of questions at the end of the program. Check out our 10 Questions feature from the webinar panelists now up on the blog.
Renewable natural gas (RNG) projects have proven to be the darling of low-carbon fuel regulations worldwide. With the rise of alternative fuels and voluntary markets, some in the industry are looking to pivot to stay profitable. EcoEngineers experts discussed these topics and more in our webinar on Sept. 29, 2022.
Senior Carbon Consultant Paul Niznik moderated the program, and he was joined by RNG Services Director Dave Lindenmuth and Climate Risk Director Dr. Roxby Hartley. They also answered a number of questions at the end of the program. Unfortunately, many inquiries went unanswered in the time allotted. Check out our 10 Best Questions from the webinar on our blog!
We answer the best questions from our most recent webinar
EcoEngineers hosted a webinar on September 27 called “RNG: What’s the Next Frontier?” Senior Carbon Consultant Paul Niznik moderated the program, and he was joined by RNG Services Director Dave Lindenmuth and Climate Risk Director Dr. Roxby Hartley. After 20 minutes of presentation and conversation about where the renewable natural gas industry could be headed, we opened the floor for questions from the nearly 350 webinar attendees. Unfortunately, many inquiries went unanswered in the time allotted.
Our experts wanted to make sure the audience was heard, so below you will find 10 of the best questions asked at the webinar and our answers. Keep in mind without proper due diligence and knowledge gathering required to answer on specific projects, we are speaking mostly in industry generalities. Watch the full webinar here.
CARB has issued new policy for Advanced Clean Fleets where large fleets will be required to transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) starting in 2024. What is the future of CNG in California?
RH: There aren’t enough suitable electric vehicles for many fleets.
PN: CNG buses are wildly popular and much less expensive than traditional diesel busses, and extremely cheaper than EV busses. The ACT requirements will have many opponents as it becomes binding
Has there been an analysis done on what California SB 1140’s requirement of 20% RNG by 2030 would have on California consumers’ energy bills?
DL: The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has held public hearings on the topic, but we are not aware of any wholistic studies on this topic.
How can I learn more about the level of surplus or banked RIN credits? Any resources out there? What is the general scale of banked/surplus credits, and how has that changed over the past couple years?
DL: There is limited information available on the RIN bank. The USEPA publishes monthly RIN generation data, but it is difficult to know how many are banked by obligated parties.
PN: The USEPA had made estimates in their most recent rulemaking that are considered fairly low by most market participants. This is partially because they sopped performing deep levels of this analysis several years ago. The RFS market experts at EcoEngineers can be commissioned to provide analysis on the RINs bank if desired. Contact us for more information.
Are voluntary life-cycle analysis “jurisdictions” typically drawn along state lines? Electric Power ISO/RTO Lines? State Lines?
RH: Depends on the context – California uses a mix.
Can you explain what eRINS are? I heard that EPA will issue regs in that space soon.
DL: eRINs are RINs that would be creating using the existing USEPA pathway to generate renewable electricity through the use of biofuels (like biogas from landfills) and dispensing through the charging of electric vehicles. You can find out more about eRINs in our EcoInsights video library, or our latest eRIN webinar.
What percent of Natural Gas currently used in the U.S. is RNG?
DL: Less than 1%; RNG volume is estimated at 0.2 billion cubic feet per day.
What are the current threats to RNG? What would make the market turn down?
DL: A threat might be accelerated advancement of regulation that restricts or prohibits the use of natural gas in any form, and the mandate of vehicular electrification. However, RNG has the ability to be feedstock for other renewable fuels including electricity and next generation fuels like renewable hydrogen.
PN: On the pricing side, a 180 shift in policy making from the national level because of party change of the White House could bring back something like SREs.
Why are RIN prices disconnected from RNG costs?
DL: RIN prices are tied to RIN generation (supply) and RIN demand (regulatory obligation) in the RFS program, which is generally balanced by the USEPA annually.
PN: And the costs for the most expensive digester RNG is supplemented by the LCFS. Meanwhile, RNG has been traditionally locked in contracts with no options to leave the transportation/RIN market if prices are unattractive, so there has generally been RNG supply changes to provide economic feedback to RINs prices. HOWEVER, this dynamic is changing…stay tuned! Sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay updated.
Can Mexican biogas, inserted into an existing U.S./Mexico pipeline, participate in transportation markets like the California LCFS?
DL: At a high level, yes, if they are interconnected with the North American Natural Gas grid (which includes Canada and Mexico), but specific projects should be studied to confirm compliance requirements. Contact us for more information about your project.
Will EPA make any changes to the use of food in co-digestion and the impact on D3 RINs?
DL: The USEPA may publish guidance on mechanisms to allocate D5 and D3 RINs from a co-digestion project, however we have no knowledge as to if/when this may occur.