Pacific Salmon Restoration Program Planning

Pacific Salmon Restoration Program Planning

Partner: Chelan County Public Utility District

 Downloadable PDF

Services Provided:

  • Production Modeling
  • Infrastructure Planning
  • Conceptual Design

 

Summary:  The Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) rears Pacific salmon and steelhead associated with the Upper Columbia River as part of anadromous fish agreements and habitat conservation plans for its Rocky Reach and Rock Island Hydroelectric Projects.  The Chelan County PUD fish rearing commitment encompasses multiple programs to produce over 4.8 million juvenile fish in total.  In the next four to six years the Chelan County PUD anticipates making significant investments in its existing fish rearing programs to meet habitat conservation plan commitments for fish production.

Challenge:  Chelan County PUD commitments for 2003–2013 call for increases in the production levels of pacific anadromous stocks.  The existing infrastructure is not adequate to meet the increased production levels for the new hatchery program.

Solution:  Analysis of the hatchery program is accomplished in two steps: bio-programming and alternatives analysis.  Bio-programming results in a detailed model of fish growth and the rearing requirements of each stock.  Alternatives analysis builds on the rearing requirements identified in the bio-programming step and compares requirements to existing infrastructure and capacity for pre-defined alternative fish rearing plans.

Results:  The result of bio-programming and alternatives analysis is a detailed identification of gaps in water flow and fish rearing volume requirements based on criteria set forth in the PUD’s habitat conservation plans.  The PUD will address these identified gaps and meet increased fish production requirements through investments in new infrastructure and facilities.

WCT supports an Eco-friendly Anti-Poaching Camp in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka

WCT supports an Eco-friendly Anti-Poaching Camp in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka‘Aranyaka’, a pilot project involving the construction of an eco-friendly anti-poaching camp at Avarepura in the Moleyur range of Bandipur has been handed over to the Forest Department last week. This pilot project, which has been jointly funded by the Wildlife Conservation Trust, Mumbai and the Karnataka Forest Department, has been accomplished by the Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) at the National Institute of Engineering at an estimated cost of Rs. 8.8 lakh.

It was felt that the existing anti-poaching camps at Bandipur were not suitable for prolonged stay and hence, a pilot project has been taken up with the use of renewable energy systems. The design and the implementation part has been taken up by NIE-CREST and the structure erected using stabilised mud blocks which obviated the use of burning firewood to dry bricks. The use of stabilised mud blocks also provide good thermal comfort.

Water being a critical requirement in the jungles, the anti-poaching camp has been provided with a rainwater harvesting system with a storage capacity of 9,000 litres. Given the annual average rainfall at Bandipur, the yield through rainwater harvesting technique is nearly 43,000 litres of water per year and hence there will be assured water availability for almost six to seven months.

The solar energy system installed in the camp will be sufficient for lighting the camp in the night and also for recharging wireless sets. The incorporation of renewable technologies fulfill the energy and water needs of the camp to a large extent and helps in conservation of both wood and water. The building will also have fuel-efficient biomass cook stove which will provide for efficient, smokeless cooking.

B.G. Hosmath, Field Director, Project Tiger, said that “the newly constructed anti-poaching camp will be able to harbour nearly 15 forest personnel and that the Averapura Camp will now strengthen the anti-poaching capacity of the Moleyur rnage of Bandipur”

Geothermal Energy has the Power to Supply the Planet, Emissions Free

Geothermal energy has been utilised by humans for thousands of years, with American Paleo-Indians settling near hot springs for bathing and heating. The first geothermal power plant went online in Italy in 1911, and after the energy crisis of the 1970s more extensive geothermal development was deployed. Despite this, geothermal power’s extensive potential remains unrealised.

Geothermal energy has been utilised by humans for thousands of years, with American Paleo-Indians settling near hot springs for bathing and heating. The first geothermal power plant went online in Italy in 1911, and after the energy crisis of the 1970s more extensive geothermal development was deployed. Despite this, geothermal power’s extensive potential remains unrealised. 

A constant, reliable source of power

Geothermal power, where plants generate electricity by tapping in to the almost unlimited heat within the Earth’s core, has essentially zero emissions  and is a safe, reliable source of electricity and heat with huge global potential. Geothermal energy can be used for direct heating applications –even in some of the coldest climates (nearly 40% of detached houses in Sweden use ground source heat pumps). 

Perhaps most importantly, geothermal power plants are a constant source of electricity – essentially available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year –  producing ‘base load’ electricity. 

Base load power is the minimum amount of power that must reasonably be available to meet demand at any given time (most power suppliers consider that demand to be consumer demand without the need for heating and cooling caused by fluctuations in weather). Base load power sources  generally provide the majority of power in a stable electricity grid. Many relatively mature renewable technologies such as wind can’t currently provide a constant supply of power, meaning base load is typically met by emission-producing fossil fuels like coal and gas (or nuclear). Geothermal is a particularly attractive clean alternative.

Increasing geothermal power’s availability 

Also in geothermal’s favour is its wide and relatively even dispersal across the globe. While geothermal’s technical potential (i.e. what it would be possible to achieve with today’s technologies) is many times smaller than its theoretical potential, it is still more than 10 times higher than current global electricity consumption.

Conventional geothermal power production uses high-temperature fields that  are largely confined to areas with geologically young seismic and volcanic activity where the hot fluids are available relatively close to the surface – even so,  accessible geothermal resources are vastly underutilised. In 2010, 70 counties were identified with power plants under development or active consideration.  But still by May 2012, the total installed geothermal capacity online globally was about 11.2 GW (compared to nearly 240GW of wind capacity at the end of 2011). Only about 20 countries generate electricity from geothermal sources and around 70 use it for heating. 

Many countries have left geothermal resources in the shadow of oil or natural gas, or do not have the technological resources/financial capacity for development. The capital and operational costs of geothermal projects vary greatly on variables including  location, temperature and drilling depth. Though they have no fuel costs, upfront costs are very high and verifying the potential of a site can take a long time, making financing particularly difficult in tough economic times. 

Global geothermal power production has seen only modest growth in the past few decades, but  growth has occurred in many parts of the world, mostly where government incentives and national policies are in place – the US has over 100 projects in development. The emergence of a new geothermal technology – Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) – could fundamentally alter the geothermal landscape, as EGS can theoretically be installed almost anywhere in the world, not exclusively in areas near to geothermal reservoirs. 

Technology transfer and carbon finance in East Africa

Carbon finance is one means of overcoming the financial barriers, and can help speed the adaptation of new geothermal technologies (perhaps such as EGS). Carbon finance can also help development in countries that might not even have access to the ‘mature’ technologies. 

Kenya is using carbon finance to take advantage of its vast steam reserves around the Rift Valley. The government hopes to generate nearly 30% of its electricity from geothermal sources by 2030 and is the first African country to drill for geothermal power.  Kenya has historically relied on hydroelectric powerfor its electricity generation, but geothermal is more reliable as it is not affected by weather changes. The Okiria geothermal plant in the Rift Valley has been in operation since the 1980s,with the help of The World Bank. Since then there have been two separate capacity upgrades – adding around 77MW – that have benefited from carbon finance and are registered with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). There are more capacity upgrades planned at the Okiria site and more CDM projects expected in the future. 

Much of eastern Africa has the potential to generate considerable electricity from geothermal sources, following more technologically developed countries like Iceland. Iceland complements its use of hydropower (74%) with geothermal power (26%) to almost entirely displace the need for fossil fuels;  even the waste heat from the geothermal power plants meets nearly 90% of Icelandic homes’ heating and hot water needs. Importantly, the technology has also given rise to new business and investment in the country, for example large data centres moving in as they seek clean, reliable electricity that isn’t affected by fuel cost volatility. 

How carbon finance is helping Turkey realise its geothermal power potential

Turkey is among the top seven countries of the world in terms of geothermal resources, possessing one-eighth of the world’s total hydrothermal potential. However, in 2007, less than 0.1% of Turkey’s electricity production derived from geothermal resources.  

The Aydin project, commissioned in May 2006 with a capacity of 6.5MW, had a significant impact on Turkey’s development of geothermal power, alone accounting for over 10% of the geothermal electricity increase between 2005 and 2010. According to the International Geothermal Association, Turkey was in the top five countries in terms of installed geothermal capacity as well as percentage increase between 2005 and 2010.  The Aydin project is therefore a prime example of how carbon finance can promote a crucial technology development in an especially important geography. 

Carbon finance can play a crucial role in further tapping in to the global geothermal potential. And, as the barriers and risks associated with more novel technologies are addressed (see The CarbonNeutral Company’s briefing sheet on geothermal energy for more on this), carbon finance will have an even bigger role in opening up massive areas of geothermal potential, which could potentially meet the world’s current electricity demand alone –  or at the very least, a very significant proportion.

 

COP18 in Doha:  Hot, dry and desperate for a workable deal

Representatives from the 190+ nations signed up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meet in Doha, Qatar at the end of November for COP18, two weeks of climate negotiations. Jonathan Shopley explores the implications for business.

The Doha hour-glass

When the Qatari sands run out at end of the forthcoming Doha meeting, we should not expect meaningful gains for the climate nor for business.  So far, the  actions of regulators and policy-makers to reduce global GHG emissions are fragmented, confused, ineffective, and weighed down by past mistakes.  The chances of governments taking effective action is bleak, so business needs to continue to lead the way – and champion the message that the path to a low carbon economy lies in strategic market investment, not simply in reducing emissions within their own boundaries.  

We should not lose heart – progress is being made, and important lessons are being learnt and applied. However, everything points to the fact that until 2020 at earliest, business will be picking up the slack in the system.  Do that job well, and business has the opportunity to influence the structure and efficacy of any global agreement that may replace the Kyoto Protocol.   To understand the implications for business, let’s start by looking at where we got to at the last COP in Durban in December 2011 and what’s on the agenda for Doha.

The Durban legacy

Durban solved the big challenge of what to do about the Kyoto protocol by kicking the can down the road to 2020, with lots of work to do to before 2015 to define a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol.  The Kyoto Protocol remains as a much reduced legally binding pillar of the international climate regime – totally inadequate to the task to reducing global emissions in line with scientific guidance.

COP17 kept some momentum with ‘The Durban Platform for Enhanced Action’, which:

  • Committed all countries within the UNFCCC to be legally bound to cut their emissions of seven greenhouse gases starting no later than 2020 in a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, provisions of which to be finalised by 2015.  The real triumph was that the successor agreement will drop the Kyoto Protocol’s separate treatment of developing and developed countries and will include all major emitting nations. In the mean time, the EU and nine other countries were committed to an extension to 2017 or 2020 – although China, Japan and Russia promptly announced their withdrawal joined later by New Zealand. 
  • Agreed the operating principles and governance, but not yet the source of funds, for the $100bn a year Green Climate Fund (GCF) to reassure developing economies that climate change mitigation will not be used to suppress their development aspirations and to secure their support for the successor agreement.
  • Recognised that the CDM would become constrained as all nations take on targets, and called for new market mechanisms, leaving details to be worked out later.  
  • Adopted rules that opened the door for a market mechanism that will allow private investors to finance projects that stop deforestation.  

The Doha to-do list

Three big tasks are on the to-do list for the 190+ country negotiators when they gather in Doha.

 

  • Finalise the extension of the Kyoto Protocol, including agreeing targets for remaining participants and decide what to do with the 13 billion tonnes of surplus allowances from the first compliance period. As the rules currently stand, they can be carried forward bringing all the problems of the first compliance period into the extension period.
  • Secure the funding required for the Green Climate Fund.  Now that the governance structure for the GCF has been put in place and a home has been found for it in Incheon City, South Korea the really hard task of sourcing its $100bn/year funding begins.  
  • Agree the work plan to develop the successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol.  Effectively, this means starting all over again in the task of developing an international agreement – learning from and correcting past mistakes, keeping the parts that work, and filling the yawning gaps that made the Kyoto Protocol a flawed first attempt.  We shouldn’t under-estimate the difficulty of this task, especially as it will need to factor in calls for a review of the UNFCCC’s 2oC target.  Small Island States, already experiencing the threats of rising sea-levels, are calling for a lower target of 1.5oC.  

 

Re-entering uncharted territory

These issues will need to be negotiated under circumstances very different to those when the UNFCCC first began its work in 1994.  Then it was the world of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ as wealthy developed economies sought to engage the developing economies in a global solution.  Now, the world’s most developed economies, specifically the US and EU, are battling the impacts of recession, high rates of unemployment, and colossal fiscal deficits. Developing economies including China, India, Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa have their problems, but rapid growth in both population and consumption is not one of them.  

In the 1990s market-based capitalism was winning out; now financial crises have made many nations deeply suspicious of markets, let alone market-based solutions to climate change.  

There are so many past issues to fix, changing circumstances to adjust to and conflicting agendas to accommodate that we should not expect COP18 to deliver much for business or the climate.

All is not lost, and there is reason for optimism

Business should not misread the current situation, specifically:

  • Any modest GHG reductions reported by nations are as a result of economic slow-down, not progress on decarbonising our economy – so they will increase as growth returns.
  • The drivers for action on climate risks are strengthening because physical evidence is changing the perceptions of a wider proportion of civic society. That will bolster political will to act… given time.
  • The fact that the UNFCCC’s Kyoto Protocol and the EU ETS are suffering from design faults hasn’t stopped states like California and Quebec and countries including Brazil, China, India, Korea, Mexico, and Vietnam from embracing market based approaches. They are doing a better job too, as they can design their systems anew using lessons learned from the pioneers.
  • The fact that the UN will not have a replacement agreement in place before 2020 at the earliest doesn’t mean that climate change isn’t an issue of concern to business right now.

Markets provide a means for business to fund projects that deliver low carbon development, by replacing fossil fuels with renewables and restocking critical carbon sinks. Business needs to remind policy makers that internal reductions and energy efficiency are important, but alone are not going to have the required level of impact.

The private sector must stay the course despite confusion and disappointment around the progress being made on international policy and agreements and what may look like the ‘collapse’ of carbon markets. Businesses, many of which already see GHG emissions as a strategic issue and therefore act ahead of compliance, must continue to step in where governments have failed to act. Leaving governments to muddle on is dangerous and will leave business exposed to climate risks, unfair competition, and rising costs of abatement.

So, if that is how businesses should view the Doha talks, how should they act through these uncertain times?  The CarbonNeutral Company’s clients are those companies which have chosen not to wait and do nothing.  They have raised their ambitions to reassure customers and investors that they can be part of the solution not the problem; to engage staff on issues that are increasingly important to them in their daily lives; to de-risk supply chains; and to future proof their business strategies for a time when climate policies will have bite.  

I applaud and commend their proactivity, because without it, we really could get bogged down in the oil rich desert sands of Qatar.

I’d be pleased to hear your reactions to these views, answer questions and respond to comments.  Follow me on @JonathanShopley for tweets from COP18 in Doha. I will summarise the outcomes in a blog in mid-December. 

 

Will the predicted ‘death’ of the CDM prove fatal for the voluntary carbon market?

In November the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) celebrated its one billionth emission reduction and its positive impact on developing countries. But falling global carbon prices have placed the future of the scheme in question. Oliver Crouch explains why, and what this means for businesses taking action through the voluntary carbon market.

In September the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) celebrated its one billionth emission reduction and its positive impact on developing countries. But falling global carbon prices have placed the future of the scheme in question. 

The CDM is one of the mechanisms for reducing emissions defined in the Kyoto Protocol, verifying compliance grade credits from projects in developing nations that can be bought and sold by Annex I countries and organisations. It covers more than 4,500 projects in 75 developing countries. In September the CDM reached a major milestone with the issuance of its billionth CER, the unit that represents one tonne of emissions reduced. 

In a statement the UN climate change secretariat, Christina Figueres, noted, “The CDM is not only having an important impact on developing countries through technology transfer and sustainable development, but it can also encourages developed countries to increase their emission reduction targets by making mitigation more affordable.”

What are the issues facing the CDM?

Despite this milestone significant uncertainties remain over the future of the scheme, mainly that a second period of the Kyoto Protocol, which provides the legal basis of the CDM, does not get finalised at the Doha climate summit in November. 

There is also the issue of oversupply. Based on the known CDM project pipeline, IDEAcarbon estimates more than four billion CERs, the crediting unit produced by CDM projects, are likely to be issued 2013 – 2020.;

The primary source of demand for CERs is the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS. Installations regulated by the EU-ETS can surrender a portfolio of CERs and an equivalent crediting unit called EU allowances (EUAs) for compliance. However the EU-ETS caps the use of U.N. carbon offsets at 1.4bn between 2008 and 2012 allowing a further 300 million or so to be surrendered between 2013 and 2020. Significant oversupply of CERs looms. 

What are the issues facing the EU-ETS?

A growing surplus of EUA’s has built up in recent years as industrial activity and related energy use has dropped due to the economic recession across Europe and the successful introduction of energy efficiency policies. Overlaying this is the on-going uncertainty of EU climate ambition post 2020.

Importantly the volume of EUAs is consistent with the EU’s 2020 reduction target.  However, the oversupply and resulting low prices are insufficient to drive the investment in low carbon power generation necessary to deliver the deeper targets beyond 2020. 

What are the options for the EU-ETS?

The third phase of the EU-ETS runs 2013-2020 and the EU Commission is considering delaying the auctioning of up to 1.2 billion allowances for years 2013-2015 until a date during the 8 year phase. This back loading of allowances is hoped to raise prices in the short term and lead to a steadier price in the long term.

Linking to other international trading scheme could generate demand, but new CER demand stemming from a link between the EU scheme and Australia’s upcoming market from 2015 is estimated to be small in comparison to the level of oversupply.

The other lever to create scarcity within the cap and trade scheme is to tighten the cap. This could be achieved by stepping up the EUs climate change ambition for 2020 to a 30% reduction. But there is little political appetite for this given Europe’s more pressing economic woes.

What does all this mean for the voluntary carbon market?

Paul Simpson, Chief Executive of the Carbon Disclosure Project, has suggested that: “Businesses could help support the carbon markets while international climate talks remain deadlocked by becoming more active in the voluntary carbon market. The private sector does many things voluntarily. There is a relatively small voluntary carbon market… and I think there is a role in the short term for the private sector to take more voluntary action to help shore up the carbon market.”

While I agree there is significant scope for more voluntary action by businesses, I disagree that voluntary action should be used to shore up the regulated carbon market.

The voluntary market currently transacts around 60 million tonnes per year so simply doesn’t have the scale to “shore up” the far larger regulated carbon market. If the looming CER surplus was dumped on the voluntary market a more probable scenario is suffocation of the supply of innovative Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard projects designed specifically for voluntary carbon market buyers. If this happens, the death of the CDM could prove fatal for the voluntary carbon market.

Responsibility for restoring confidence in the CER market remains with governments not businesses. It is important to remember CERs were designed as an instrument for governments to achieve national goals and have been adopted as compliance instruments in the EU-ETS. Interventions are needed to address the challenges faced by the CDM, but they can only be solved through political action.  However tempting it might be to use low cost CERs for voluntary action, we cannot risk suffocating the voluntary carbon market in a futile effort to shore up the regulated carbon market. 

I fully support businesses taking more action on a voluntary basis but this action needs to be focused on the instruments and standards developed specifically to serve the needs of the voluntary carbon market. The voluntary carbon market continues to be an effective way for businesses to reduce emissions and to encourage the adoption of renewable technologies and sustainable development practices. As governments prevaricate about the future of international climate action, businesses have an important role to play in showing governments the way through their own climate action.