The Methane to Markets Partnership Update
Issue 18, April 2010
SPECIAL EXPO EDITION
In this edition:
- Methane to Markets Partnership Expo a Great Success!
- New Directions for the Partnership
- Methane Marketplace Overflows with Projects
- Sector Updates
- Recent Developments
Methane to Markets Partnership Expo a Great Success!
From March 2 to 5 2010, the Methane to Markets Partnership welcomed more than 500 project developers, financiers, policymakers, manufacturers, and government representatives to New Delhi, India. Attendees, representing 36 countries, met to promote methane recovery and use project opportunities and technologies.
YK Modi, past President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), gave opening remarks and welcomed attendees to the four-day event. Blair Hall, Minister Counselor for the U.S. Embassy in India, provided a brief overview of global climate change issues, followed by Dina Kruger, Acting Chair of the Steering Committee and the Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA's) Climate Change Division, who gave a State of the Partnership presentation (PDF, 19 pp, 472 KB).
The Expo's agenda (PDF, 23 pp, 144 KB) featured high-level plenary sessions, technical and policy breakout sessions, subcommittee meetings, and methane project site tours. In addition, each day began with a cross-cutting roundtable. The first roundtable focused on national methane policies, the second on financing mechanisms to support international methane project development, and the third on gas end-use technologies. The closing plenary session included concluding remarks from technical and policy sessions as well as a summary of Steering Committee decisions (PDF, 32 pp, 575 KB) from Dina Kruger.
New Directions for the Partnership
The Methane to Markets Steering Committee met on three consecutive days to revise the Partnership's current policies and make recommendations for future actions. Partners presented country statements and updates and subcommittee chairs reported on their progress. In addition, the Steering Committee:
- Drafted a revised Terms of Reference (TOR) (PDF, 43 pp, 1.3 MB). The proposed changes include expanding the Partnership's scope to include methane abatement, encouraging review of subcommittee leadership every three years, and asking Partners to complete and implement action plans, as well as periodically communicate their progress and accomplishments to the Administrative Support Group (ASG). The Steering Committee also added language to the TOR creating linkages between the Partnership and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) . As next steps, the ASG will circulate a revised version of the TOR to all Steering Committee members for a 60-day review. The final draft will be made available to all Partners in advance of the proposed Ministerial meeting (see below).
- Planned a Ministerial-level event to be hosted by Mexico in conjunction with the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in late 2010. This event will mark the initiation of the revised TOR and include a Ministerial Declaration about the importance of methane reduction and the critical role the Partnership is playing in international climate change mitigation. The ASG will circulate a draft declaration for the Steering Committee to review and will provide it to all Partners for comment. The goal is to finalize the declaration approximately one month before the Ministerial Meeting. The meeting may also include country statements, photo opportunities, press events, and success story posters. A Steering Committee meeting will take place on the preceding day(s).
- Added wastewater treatment as a focal area of the Partnership. The Landfill Subcommittee is charged with exploring how to engage the wastewater sector and incorporate wastewater issues into the Partnership structure. Contact the ASG for more information.
The Steering Committee also developed a Charge to Subcommittees and Partners for Year VI (PDF, 6 pp, 94 KB). Copies of the discussion papers and meeting presentations will be available on the Methane to Markets Web site.
Methane Marketplace Overflows with Projects
More than 150 project opportunities and success stories from Partner Countries were showcased in two exhibition halls, dubbed the "Methane Marketplace" during the Partnership Expo. These project posters and flyers gave participants the chance to learn firsthand about project details and network with project representatives. The projects exhibited at the Partnership Expo have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. Rotating success stories featured at the Partnership Expo will soon be posted on the Methane to Markets Web site.
Each subcommittee met during the Expo to discuss recent news and developments as well as determine future directions and actions.
The agriculture sector activities included a site visit, technical and policy sessions, and a subcommittee meeting. For the site visit, participants visited the Shri Krishna Gaushala in the Karera Village in Ghaziabad, India. A gaushala is a sanctuary for old, sick, and abandoned cows. At the Shri Krishna Gaushala, there are 1,000 cows whose manure is processed in three onsite anaerobic digesters. Some of the biogas produced by the digesters provides electricity for the site; the rest is purified and bottled onsite for use offsite. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) developed and maintains the biogas purification and bottling system. Dr. Virendra Vijay from IIT hosted the site visit and provided an onsite presentation about the process.
Technical sessions included addressing financial and political barriers to implementing anaerobic digestion (AD), opportunities to use AD across the food and agriculture sector, and other agricultural sources of methane, such as enteric fermentation and rice cultivation.
The Agriculture Subcommittee met to determine its future work based on the input of the participants. Additionally, the subcommittee welcomed Anil Dhussa from the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy as a third Co-Chair. Participants also heard country updates, discussed international guidance to characterize the environmental performance of AD systems, and considered including sources of agricultural methane beyond manure into the work of the Partnership, including enteric fermentation and rice cultivation.
The coal mines sector included a subcommittee meeting as well as breakout sessions that covered the current status and trends in coal mine methane (CMM) project development. The breakout sessions also covered technology development for both methane-rich gas and ventilation air methane (VAM), drainage and utilization best practices, and policies and regulation affecting CMM project development. Perspectives on policy, regulation, and overall development trends were provided for several countries, including Australia, China, India, Mexico, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States. Discussion also touched on carbon finance, specifically for CMM abatement.
Examples of technologies discussed included a fuel cell power plant in South Africa operating on coalbed methane (CBM), the potential for converting CBM or CMM to compressed natural gas to power the dual fuel engines of Indian railways, and various technologies for VAM utilization. Also notable was the recent release of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Best Practice Guidance for Effective Methane Drainage and Use in Coal Mines, announced during the session on CMM best practices.
The Coal Subcommittee focused on the Steering Committee's charges discussed topics such as potential impacts for the coal sector of expanding Partnership to include methane abatement and flaring. There was also a leadership review that resulted in the promotion of Vice-Chair Dr.Huang Shengchu to Subcommittee Co-Chair. Additionally, representatives from Partner Country governments as well as the Project Network shared updates relating to CMM activities.
In the landfill sector, breakout sessions covered lessons learned in assessing landfill gas (LFG) project potential, methods for improving LFG recovery and site safety, and how to develop LFG projects. Especially exciting were presentations by representatives of Argentina and Ukraine discussing the success of their Methane to Market-supported LFG projects. In the three years since the last Expo, the Partnership has moved from discussing and planning projects to implementing demonstration projects!
Approximately 30 Expo attendees had the opportunity to visit the Okhla Landfill in New Delhi. The landfill is one of New Delhi's three operational dump sites and has been the site of pump tests conducted by the U.S. EPA. According to preliminary estimates, the landfill can produce nearly 2.7 megawatts of electricity.
During the Expo, the Landfill Subcommittee discussed activities for 2010, such as the development of a landfill biogas project best practices guide. Based on charges from the Steering Committee, they discussed where the new focal area of wastewater treatment should be incorporated into the Partnership Structure and if it is appropriate to expand the mission of the Partnership to include methane abatement (e.g., flaring of biogas).
Oil and Gas Systems
The oil and gas systems sector included a Subcommittee meeting and technical and policy breakout sessions. These sessions addressed a variety of topics including proven technologies and practices that support verifiable emissions reductions, countries and companies addressing climate change through project development (including examples of projects that are part of the UNFCCC's Clean Development Mechanism ), and successful examples of international technology transfer. The presenters also expressed the need for new, standardized methodologies and training on how to apply them.
At the subcommittee meeting, participants discussed how to respond to the Steering Committee charge, engage more members in Partnership activities, identify country-specific content for the Web site, and identify and collaborate with programs that share Partnership goals.
- U.S. EPA Extends Grant Deadline. U.S. EPA has recently extended the deadline for applying for funding for Methane to Markets projects . The new deadline is 29 July 2010. Up to 35 projects are anticipated to receive grants ranging from $100,000 to $750,000, with an estimated total award of $5 million. Successful proposals will support the Partnership's goals of reducing methane emissions and advancing project development in Methane to Markets developing countries, countries with economies in transition, or in countries that are applying to join the Partnership.
- U.S. EPA Develops New LFG Models to Support the Methane to Markets Partnership. The Philippines (XLS, 3.4 MB) and Thailand LFG models (XLS, 3.4 MB) provide general estimates of LFG generation and recovery potential in each country. The models provide recommended values for input variables based on climate data, waste characteristics, and disposal practices and the estimated effect of these conditions on the amounts and rates of LFG generation. Each model comes with a user's manual.