Workshop Manual: The business case for carbon farming: improving your farm’s sustainability (January 2021)

Animal effluent management method

Appendix A - Summaries of selected emissions avoidance and sequestration methodologies

The business case for carbon farming: improving your farm’s sustainability

Explore the full Workshop Manual: The business case for carbon farming: improving your farm’s sustainability (January 2021)

 
TYPE: Avoidance methodology

 
Summary
This methodology applies to projects  to develop new facilities for the treatment of animal effluent to reduce methane generated from manure in dairies and piggeries and result in fewer emissions than if the effluent were treated in an anaerobic pond.
In brief, projects under this methodology collect and destroy methane emitted from waste storage lagoons, with a combustion device such as flaring system, electricity generation system and/or a gas boiler. This method also allows for emissions avoidance if projects removes volatile solids using a solids separation diversion method.  
The methodology ensures abatement is additional by setting the baseline, which sets the level of emissions likely to be emitted in the absence of the project, under common practices. The methodology specifies that the level of abatement cannot exceed the baseline emissions. The baseline is set based on activity levels in the period of abatement, and the activity does not lead to a decrease in activity levels. This ensures leakage does not occur, as there are no incentives for an increase in activity outside the control of the project proponent.

Methodology details
Management actions 
This methodology applies to projects that involve the capture of biogas generated by
decomposition of piggery manure waste. A project earning credits under this methodology
has three components including the:
ƒƒ use of covered lagoons to prevent the release of biogas (including methane) to the
atmosphere;
ƒƒ collection of biogas from the covered lagoons; and
ƒƒ combustion of the methane component of the biogas to convert it to CO2.
This methodology applies to projects that involve the capture of biogas generated by decomposition of dairy and piggery manure waste. Under the animal effluent management method, project activities may consist of either or both of the following:
Emissions destruction:
  • generate biogas from organic effluent in an anaerobic digester, either with a covered pond or digester tank;
  • and capture and destroy the methane component of the biogas from the organic effluent by either flaring it or generating electricity.
Emissions avoidance:
  • remove material that includes volatile solids (diversion of the material);
  • and treats the diverted material aerobically in a way that produces materially fewer total methane and nitrous oxide emissions than would be produced by treatment in an anaerobic pond (a post diversion treatment).

Timing and location
Projects that generate electricity can have up to a 7-year (84 month) crediting period, with the crediting period ending once the project enters the 85th calendar month of electricity generation.
Projects that do not generate electricity, including projects that flare only, have a 12-year crediting period.
Projects can flare only and then generate electricity, but the crediting period will end once the project has generated electricity for 7 years (84 months).
The 84 months of electricity generation is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive.
 
Emissions sources
Organic effluent that would normally be treated in an anaerobic pond. Eligible material must be produced by either an eligible animal facility or a facility that produces a particular type or types of material as a waste stream.
If the organic effluent is not animal effluent from an eligible animal facility, then it must meet all the following:
  • the organic effluent must predominately consist of material of one or more listed types; and
  • if it includes material that is not of a listed type, that material cannot contribute more than 2 per cent of the methane avoided or combusted by the project over the reporting period; and
  • the effluent was not diverted from a facility that is part of an eligible offsets project related to the avoidance of methane emissions.
If the material does not meet the above, then it will be treated as ineligible material.
 
Project requirements
To be considered an eligible project:
Each treatment facility must treat animal effluent and may also treat other effluent or waste material consistent with the requirements of the method. However, project proponents should be aware tha t treatment of ineligible material in treatment facilities may result in fewer or no credits being issued for the reporting period.
The method specifies that facilities for an animal effluent management project must not be pre-existing at the date of application, unless you are varying from an older method. 
More specifically, the eligibility requirements are:
  • You must identify and provide information about the facility in the application to register the project.
  • The facility must not be pre-existing unless it is part of a trial or pilot project, or if it consists of a solids separation device which has not been used for the specified time. A further exemption is when you are varying your method from an older effluent management method.
  • At least one eligible animal facility, being the source of the animal effluent, must be identified in the project application. New sources can also be added later.
  • You must provide details showing how the material from the facility or other source is expected to be eligible material in the application to register the project.
  • You should also be aware that no ineligible material may be used in an emissions avoidance treatment method, and that for emissions destruction, if a high proportion of ineligible material is used then credited abatement may be zero.
  • The effluent must otherwise have been treated, or was going to be treated, in an anaerobic pond. Evidence to demonstrate that the effluent would have been treated in an anaerobic pond must be supplied with the application to register the project.
Net abatement amount
Abatement is calculated by finding the amount of emissions destroyed or avoided, then subtracting emissions from ineligible material and project emissions, such as from the use of fuel or electricity.
Factors that affect the abatement calculation of emissions destruction projects include:
  • the emissions resulting from the combustion of ineligible material; and
  • all project emissions of methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide from fuel use and electricity use resulting from undertaking the project.
Factors that affect the abatement calculation of emissions avoidance projects include:
  • all project emissions of methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide from fuel use and electricity use; and
  • methane and nitrous oxide produced as a result of the post-diversion treatment of material.

Data collection, measurements and reporting
Each project report must cover successive periods of no longer than 2 years, referred to as reporting periods.
In addition to the general reporting and notification requirements of the Act and the Rule, the method also sets out the following specific requirements for offset reports:
  • You must comply with the specific reporting requirements that are applicable to your project. These requirements are detailed in section 34 of the method. The specific requirements relate to the type of activity being conducted by the project, as well as requirements for the initial offsets reports and reporting of changes that have occurred since the initial offsets report.
  • You must report any periods where it is not possible to meet monitoring requirements, as well as situations where the version of the Measurement Determination used for determining a parameter or factor is not in force at the end of the reporting period.
    • In such situations, you must report the version of the Measurement Determination or external source that was used when undertaking monitoring, the dates that the version was used and why it was not possible for you to use the version that was in force at the end of the reporting period.
The monitoring requirements for this method relate to:
  • the variable parameters used to calculate the carbon dioxide equivalent net abatement,
  • the equipment or devices used to determine or measure those parameters, and
  • requirements for the equipment or device used to monitor a parameter to be calibrated by an accredited third-party technician in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
The method also sets out the consequences for failing to appropriately monitor certain parameters, including how certain parameters must be calculated where there is a non-monitored period.
In terms of record keeping, section 37 of the method sets out the requirements of a quality assurance plan, which:
  • reflects the operation, maintenance and equipment calibration requirements of the manufacturer or installer of all project equipment,
  • includes all records of eligible material and the treatment of ineligible material,
  • defines the parameters that will be monitored, the methods to be used and the frequency of monitoring, and
  • demonstrates evidence of compliance with applicable laws and codes of practice in the transport of materials and operation of the project facility.
The quality assurance plan must be submitted to the CER by no later than submission of the first offsets report for the project. If the CER notifies you that it is not satisfied with the quality assurance plan, you must amend that plan as soon as practicable after being notified to address the issues identified.
Records that need to be kept include:
  • all maintenance records for all project equipment,
  • logs of operation of the combustion device in emissions destruction projects including a record of significant shut-downs, start-ups, failures and process adjustments,
  • evidence of corrective measures taken if monitoring instruments do not meet the accuracy threshold specified in the Supplement,
  • number, type, serial numbers and size of emissions avoidance or emissions destruction devices, and
  • evidence of compliance with the calibration of equipment of a device by an accredited third-party technician in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.

Explore the full Workshop Manual: The business case for carbon farming: improving your farm’s sustainability (January 2021)

Read the report

RESEARCH REPORTS

1. Introduction: background to the business case

This chapter lays out the basic background and groundwork of the manual

RESEARCH REPORTS

1.1 Overview

Introduction: background to the business case

RESEARCH REPORTS

1.2 Being clear about the reasons for participating

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.3 Key steps in a decision process

Introduction: background to the business case

RESEARCH REPORTS

1.4 Working through the business case for carbon farming

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.5 Factors determining project economics

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.6 Elements of the business case

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.7 Building an economic case

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.8 Important features of the business case

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.9 The plan of this manual

Introduction: background to the business case

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2. How carbon is farmed under the ERF

This chapter considers in detail the activities that constitute carbon farming

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2.1 The scope of carbon farming under the ERF

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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2.2 Emissions avoidance activities

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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2.3 Sequestration activities

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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2.4 The negative list

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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2.5 Carbon farming under the Emissions Reduction Fund

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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2.6 Who's who in the CFI and the ERF

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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3. The policy context and the price of ACCUs

This chapter takes a broad look at the policy context for carbon farming

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3.1 The policy context

The policy context and the price of ACCUs

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3.2 A documented climate challenge…

The policy context and the price of ACCUs

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3.3 … with numerous policy responses

The policy context and the price of ACCUs

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