The Global Methane Initiative Update
Issue 27, February 2012
In this edition:
- GMI Projects Around the World
- 2013 Expo Planning Underway!
- Subcommittee Update
- U.S. Government's Accomplishments Report Released
- GMI Holds Side Event at COP17
- Landfill Gas Energy Project Comes On Line
- GMI Outreach
- Recent Developments and Resources
GMI Projects Around the World
Since 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has funded projects that support the goals of the Global Methane Initiative (GMI): advancing near-term, cost-effective methane abatement or recovery and use as a clean energy source. These grants become catalysts for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction projects, technology demonstration, and capacity-building efforts in GMI Partner Countries. Throughout upcoming newsletters, the Administrative Support Group (ASG) would like to highlight the progress of grant awardees.
Pre-feasibility Study on Methane Recovery and Utilization in Nalaikh Coal Mine. In 2008, Partner organization Mongolian Nature and Environment Consortium (MNEC) was awarded a $100,000 grant to conduct a pre-feasibility assessment (PDF, 77 pp, 3.8 MB) of coal mine methane (CMM) recovery at the Nalaikh Coal Mine in Mongolia. The study identified three drilling sites that could support a 3.6-megawatt (MW) power generation and heating project, which will reduce 96,390 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). Currently, drilling in the mine area is being jointly financed by the Mongolian and Korean governments.
Also as part of the grant, the MNEC hosted a workshop to discuss the opportunities and use of methane for sustainable development, policy and ownership issues, and identify the needs of the Mongolian mining industry regarding CMM. This past year, EPA awarded the Consortium an additional GMI grant to continue its activities to develop an assessment of Mongolian CMM resources.
Methane Recovery in the Russian Gas Sector: Capitalizing on Economic and Environmental Benefits. In 2009, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) received more than $280,000 for a project that aims to establish a reliable, cost-effective system for monitoring and managing Gazprom's methane emissions. Gazprom is Russia's largest energy producer, and working to reduce methane emissions from the company's activities would significantly reduce methane emissions in Russia. EDF used the funding to conduct a pilot study to assess Gazprom's methane emissions and potential cost-effective project opportunities, and then provided recommendations for establishing a corporate methane management system. The project also analyzed advanced economic mechanisms for attracting investment for viable methane emission reduction projects. This project is still ongoing.
Ethiopia Agriculture and Landfill Resource Assessment and Capacity Building. Project Network member Community Development Research (CDR), a U.S. nonprofit, will use its strong African connections to help officials in Ethiopia address their methane emissions from agriculture and landfills. Under a $75,000 grant, CDR worked with the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority to conduct an assessment of the methane reduction potential from agricultural sources in the country and to develop their sector action plan. A workshop was held in Addis Ababa in November to discuss the results of this work. After these reports are finalized, they will be posted on the GMI website.
CDR also received an $80,000 grant to work in the landfill sector, which consists mostly of uncontrolled disposal sites managed by municipalities. The project focused on the challenges of waste disposal through capacity building and resulted in a country-specific profile and strategic plan. Daniel Fikreyesus, with CDR, presented (PDF, 21 pp, 1.4 MB) on this project at the Africa Carbon Forum in July 2011. Similar to the agriculture sector, CDR also held a workshop to evaluate methane reduction approaches in the landfill sector.
2013 Expo Planning Underway!
In 2013 GMI will be hosting its third Expo in Vancouver, Canada. To launch the planning process, the GMI Expo Task Force convened via teleconference on 25 January 2012. Participants included Partner Country representatives from Canada, China, Colombia, India, Nigeria, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as numerous Project Network members.
Partner organization Environment Canada, the in-country host organization, announced the Expo will be held during the week of 11 March 2013 at the Vancouver Convention Center, a state-of-the-art meeting venue. The ASG provided a brief Expo history (i.e., 2007 in Beijing, 2010 in New Delhi) and explained the role of the Task Force in the Expo process (e.g., planning, outreach). The ASG also outlined the call for abstracts, which serves to help identify technical and policy session topics and speakers, and the purpose of the project opportunity posters. Environment Canada reviewed its proposed meeting format—comprised of general plenary and concurrent sector-specific elements similar to past Expos—and invited input from Task Force members.
The Task Force teleconference concluded with a consensus to hold monthly calls leading up to the Expo; the next call will take place on Wednesday, 22 February 2012. Anyone interested in participating in the Expo Task Force and/or sharing input on possible session topics or project opportunities should email the ASG.
Highlights from each subcommittee, including GMI's newest subcommittee—Municipal Wastewater—are listed below.
In January 2012, GMI posted the Resource Assessment for Livestock and Agro-Industrial Wastes—Turkey (PDF, 55 pp, 904K). The results show that the sugar beet sector has the highest potential to reduce methane emissions, followed by the fruit processing industry, dairies, and slaughterhouses. Turkey has the potential to produce 31,800 kilowatts of electricity annually from biogas harnessed from the agricultural sectors evaluated.
The ASG would like to announce that Allison Costa, with U.S. EPA's AgSTAR Program, will be joining Jorge Hilbert with Argentina's National Institute of Agriculture Technology and Anil Dhussa with India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, as the newest Co-Chair for the Agriculture Subcommittee. The ASG would also like to remind all Partners to submit data to populate the International Anaerobic Digester Database in the Excel template (XLS, 178K). The database will collect information about the size and type of digesters in each country, as well as planned projects. The purpose is to help others see what types of systems and technologies are working well in their region, to help GMI track digester projects, and to show where there might be a need for more digester development. Please review the glossary (PDF, 6 pp, 107K) for assistance in filling out the template. The Agriculture Subcommittee is planning its next meeting to take place within the next 6 months, with a webinar being planned for the following quarter; more information will be available soon.
The Coal Mine Subcommittee is planning to hold a webinar in May 2012. The next in-person subcommittee meeting is likely to be scheduled for the first week of September in Australia. More information about these events will be available soon on GMI's website.
The Landfill Subcommittee is continuing its work on an international landfill gas (LFG) best practices guide. The Subcommittee will be initiating a peer review process in early 2012 and expects to publish the guide by the end of 2012. The ASG would also like to take the opportunity to thank Gabriel Blanco from Argentina and Rachel Goldstein from the United States for their tremendous service and assistance to GMI as Co-Chairs to the Landfill Subcommittee. Both, have recently changed positions within their respective countries and have stepped down from their Co-Chair position, though Gabriel will continue to represent Argentina within the Landfill Subcommittee as a designated country delegate. Tom Frankiewicz with U.S. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) will join Sandra Lopez Tovar with Colombia's Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development as the newest Co-Chair of the Landfill Subcommittee. The Landfill Subcommittee is planning its next meeting to take place within the next 6 months, with a webinar being planned for the following quarter; more information will be available soon.
Oil & Gas
The next Oil & Gas Subcommittee meeting will be held on 12-13 April 2012 in Denver, Colorado, United States. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the U.S. EPA's Natural Gas STAR Annual Implementation Workshop , which will take place on 10-12 April 2012. The ASG has met with the Oil & Gas Subcommittee Co-Chairs to draft the meeting agenda. Based on discussions with the Co-Chairs, there is significant interest in discussing GMI Action Plans, National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) plan development (templates and overall GMI and business case context), and the upcoming 2013 GMI Expo. Additionally, Partner Countries will be asked to discuss recent activities, along with those in the coming year. The Co-Chairs feel that sharing anticipated activities will enable the subcommittee, as well as Partner Countries and Project Network members, to be more supportive. If you have any meeting agenda topic suggestions, please email them to the ASG.
Municipal wastewater was introduced as an official GMI sector in October 2011. The Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee will be focusing on methane reduction and reuse from wastewater treatment systems in GMI's Partner Countries. The subcommittee is going to be busy over the next few months organizing and planning a webinar to kick-off the subcommittee, developing a sector action plan, and creating a municipal wastewater factsheet. Chris Godlove with U.S. EPA's LMOP will be helping to lead the effort as the subcommittee's first Co-Chair. The ASG is currently recruiting nominations for other Co-Chairs and sector representatives from interested Partner Countries.
U.S. Government's Accomplishments Report Released
The U.S. EPA recently completed the 2011 U.S. Government's Global Methane Initiative Accomplishments report , highlighting U.S. efforts to reduce and reuse methane emissions around the world. In 2010, the United States committed another $50 million in funding to GMI. The report documents the U.S. EPA's continued collaboration with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. In 2010, these agencies, working with GMI Partner Countries, completed over 550 projects, with total emissions reduction of 29 MMTCO2E.
GMI Holds Side Event at COP17
In Durban, South Africa, from 28 November through 9 December 2011, leaders from around the world gathered at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol. These representatives meet annually to assess progress in addressing climate change. Some major outcomes from the event included:
- Development of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (PDF, 2 pp, 122K) , which puts a plan in place to create a new protocol to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.
- Admission that there is a significant gap between the reduction pledges to date and the level of reductions needed to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees.
- Establishment of a Green Climate Fund (PDF, 11 pp, 191K) , which will help finance private sector activities that help to fight climate change.
GMI had a successful side event, "Global Methane Initiative: Achieving Cost-Effective GHG Emission Reductions," held on Thursday, 1 December 2011, with approximately 30 people attending the event. This session featured innovations in current methane policy and technologies by Partner Countries, as well as highlights of GMI's relationship with the UNFCCC and other international climate efforts. Speakers included:
- Jonathan Pershing, State Department, Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change—spoke about the U.S. involvement in GMI and provided a high level overview on the Initiative and its successes.
- Monica Shimamura, Co-Director of GMI's ASG—provided an overview of GMI, its successes, and the Initiatives' path forward.
- Daniel Fikreyesus, CDR—presented on the development of GMI collaboration with Ethiopia's Environment Protection Authority on agriculture work.
- Sandra Lopez Tovar, Advisor for the Climate Change Division with Colombia's Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development—discussed GMI work in Colombia, specifically the successes of landfill development.
- Syamsidar Thamrin, Indonesian State Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS)—presented on Indonesia's developing thoughts on including methane work in their NAMA.
- Stephen de Boer, Director General Climate Change International, Environment Canada—spoke about Canada's efforts to reduce methane emissions and their involvement in GMI. Mr. de Boer also highlighted that Canada will be hosting the next Expo in Vancouver in March 2013.
The side event closed with a question and answer session with the panelists, where the audience showed interest in methane reduction opportunities. After such a successful GMI side event, the ASG is now looking forward to COP18 in Doha, Qatar. ASG is requesting our Partner Countries to provide space/sponsor a GMI side event at COP18.
Landfill Gas Energy Project Comes On Line
GMI Partner Country Brazil is working to increase its renewable energy production from landfill methane. With the help of Asja Brasil , this goal is being achieved from a new LFG energy project at the Solid Waste Treatment Center in Belo Horizonte. The landfill site was originally assessed (PDF, 35 pp, 556K) by the U.S. EPA's LMOP for feasibility of an LFG energy project and was featured (PDF, 1 pg, 675K) at both the 2007 Expo in Beijing, China, and the 2010 Expo in New Delhi, India. Currently, the site has four engines (by Project Network member GE Energy—Jenbacher) that produce a total of 5.5 MW. Electricity from the facility is being supplied to the local grid.
Source: GE, "GE's Landfill Gas Technology Powers New Brazil Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project ," 31 October 2011.
In November 2011, Swarupa Ganguli (of the U.S. EPA's LMOP) and Allison Costa (with the U.S. EPA's AgSTAR Program) traveled to Ethiopia to participate in a two-day workshop on landfill and agricultural methane reduction activities. Over 80 participants from across the country attended the workshop, including representatives from 13 municipalities. Also in attendance were representatives from federal agencies such as Ethiopia's Environmental Protection Authority (a Partner organization) and the Ministry of Urban Works and Construction , as well as representatives from international donor agencies such as KfW Banking Group , Agence Française de Développement, the United Nations Environment Programme , and the World Bank (a Project Network member). The first day focused on landfills, featuring a presentation from Ms. Ganguli on LFG energy project best practices and lessons learned. The second day focused on agricultural methane; Ms. Costa presented lessons learned from U.S. agricultural methane reduction projects and the AgSTAR program. More information on this event can be found on GMI Ethiopia's website .
Following a July 2011 GMI training in the Philippines on the construction and installation of tube-bag digesters, interest in the technology continues to build among pig farmers. In October, Buklod-Unlad Multi-Purpose Cooperative—an organization that helps pig farmers improve their livelihoods via access to sustainable technologies—held another training session at the International Training Center for Pig Husbandry in Batangas. The session covered how to install low-cost tube-bag anaerobic digesters. The Cooperative has also been active in monitoring sites where the digesters are already in place and meeting with government officials to promote the digesters' use at pig farms throughout the country.
In October 2011, GMI staff traveled to Dhanbad, India, to attend the first Indo-U.S. workshop on CMM. The goal of the workshop was to share information on coal seam gas as well as drainage and utilization technologies with local mining officials. Presentation topics included financial feasibility of coalbed methane (CBM)/CMM, mine degasification systems, directional drilling, well logging, and sustainability. The workshop included a site visit to the Parbatpur CBM development project, where visitors toured three active wells and a small compressed natural gas operation that supplies gas to a steel plant in Bokoro.
In October 2011, Roger Fernandez of the U.S. EPA traveled to China to meet with officials from the China National Petroleum Corporation, the China Southeastern Oil and Gas Corporation, SinoChem, China National Petroleum University, SinoPec, Frontier and Freet Energy, and the Shanghai Academy of Environmental Science. Work continues in the country to implement methane leak detection and measurement programs.
In October 2011, GMI staff traveled to Vietnam to meet with officials in Hanoi at the U.S. embassy, VINACOMIN, and the Institute of Mining Science and Technology (a Project Network member). Meetings were held to discuss CBM and CMM project development at four coal mines in Mao Khe, Quang Hanh, Duong Huy, and Khe Cham.
In November 2011, Chris Godlove, with the U.S. EPA's LMOP, traveled to Indonesia to attend the Asia Pacific Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production conference. GMI staff made two presentations at the conference and attended meetings with officials from the U.S. embassy, the Association of Indonesia Municipalities, and the Ministry of Environment. Staff also visited the Solo, Piyangan, and Bantar Gebang landfills. For more information, including presentations, visit the conference website .
In November 2011, Felicia Ruiz, with the U.S. EPA's Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP), traveled to Kazakhstan to meet with organizations regarding the potential for methane recovery projects. She met with organizations such as KazTransGaz,a government-owned company responsible for gas processing and gas transportation. The company discussed four projects where GMI assistance and feasibility studies could be helpful. Ms. Ruiz also met with the Ministry of New Industry and Technology to discuss the development of CBM and CMM projects in the country. Ms. Ruiz also met with the Methane Center, as well as the Ministry of Environment, to learn about CMM project development opportunities.
Central America/South America
In September 2011, Carey Bylin, from the U.S. EPA's Natural Gas STAR Program, traveled to Colombia to meet with representatives from Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-owned oil and gas company. The goal was to introduce key personnel at Ecopetrol to staff from GMI in order to develop a work plan for future collaboration. GMI also conducted a training session at the Centro de Tecnología de Gas de Colombia, a research organization that provides technical assistance to natural gas transmission and distribution companies in Colombia. The training, attended by 20 participants, focused on the major sources of methane emissions from gas transmission and distribution, as well as the tools and techniques needed to carry out a methane emissions measurement study.
In October 2011, Chris Godlove, from the U.S. EPA's LMOP, attended a wastewater event—Reducción de GEI en el Tratamiento de Aguas Residuales—in Chile. During the event, he presented information on GMI's newest sector, municipal wastewater. Mr. Godlove also visited the El Molle Landfill to become familiar with the landfill and assess its candidacy for an LFG energy project. He also visited the new 12 MW Loma Los Colorados LFG energy project and met with a working group at the Ministry of Energy in Santiago to discuss the potential and current status of other LFG energy projects.
In October 2011, Chris Godlove also traveled to Brazil to meet with organizations regarding upcoming activities. A site visit to the Contagem Landfill was conducted to determine if an LFG energy project was viable. GMI also went on a tour of potential industrial LFG energy end users to meet with plant representatives and discuss the potential of using the LFG produced at the Contagem Landfill to provide energy to the plant.
On 14 November 2011, GMI, along with the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD), co-hosted a Landfill Construction, Operations, and Landfill Gas Workshop in San Salvador, El Salvador. CCAD brought landfill experts from the United States to present on landfill construction, landfill operations, and e-waste management. Participants came from all over the region, including Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Panama to learn about LFG projects. The agenda and presentations (Spanish only) are posted on GMI's website.
On 30 November 2011, GMI attended the II Simposio Internacional: Calentamiento Global y Rellenos Sanitarios in Pasto, Colombia. GMI presented during the conference on the Colombia Landfill Gas Model , which is used to help landfill owners and operators evaluate the feasibility and potential benefits of collecting and using LFG for energy recovery in Colombia. Information on the event is posted online on GMI's website. Later in December 2011, GMI—in collaboration with ANDESCO—hosted a Colombia Landfill Gas Model Workshop in Bogota, Colombia. Representatives from the U.S. EPA's LMOP presented information about GMI, LFG control and collection systems, and the Colombia Landfill Gas Model . The workshop also included presentations on LFG projects currently operating in Colombia. The agenda is posted on GMI's website and photos and presentations from the event (Spanish only) are posted on ANDESCO's website .
On 31 October-4 November 2011, GMI traveled to Turkey to attend and present at the IWES 2011 Waste Technologies Symposium and Exhibition . In addition to the conference, GMI representatives met with officials from the Kocaeli Landfill and Incineration Plant, Ortadogu Energji, and Istanbul Technical University to discuss GMI and future LFG recovery and improvement projects.
On 2-4 November 2011, the Sixth International Symposium on Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases (NCGG-6) took place in the Netherlands. GMI led a panel discussion addressing global opportunities to reduce methane emissions from wastewater treatment plants. The panel included an overview of GMI's focus within the sector and was followed by presentations from a private sector firm focused on anaerobic digesters, as well as overviews of methane capture and use opportunities in Brazil and across Latin America. Presentations are posted at the conference website , including the U.S. EPA's Paul Gunning's keynote address (PDF, 26 pp, 362K) .
In November 2011, Tom Frankiewicz, from the U.S. EPA's LMOP, attended and exhibited at the International Solid Waste Association's Annual Beacon Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia. Mr. Frankiewicz presented "Global Methane Initiative: Opportunities for Advancing Landfill Gas Energy in Central and Eastern Europe," which provided general observations and case studies from Central and Eastern Europe and an overview of the LFG industry, market, and project opportunities in the area. After the conference Mr. Frankiewicz met with representatives from Elektrovojvodina, an electrical distribution company, to discuss interconnect procedures and general renewable energy considerations. He later met with representatives from Serbia's Ministry of Environment (a Partner organization) and the Department of Renewable Energy to discuss policies and incentives that will make LFG energy projects more feasible and attractive to developers.
On 15 December 2011, GMI organized and co-hosted an oil and gas workshop in Russia with the National Research University Higher School of Economics and the EDF. Scott Bartos, from the U.S. EPA's Natural Gas STAR Program, attended the workshop, which included a discussion on developing corporate GHG inventories for oil and gas operations. It also emphasized how important high-quality emissions data are to the development of viable mitigation measures and corporate decision-making to address GHG emissions.
From 26 to 30 September 2011, representatives from Mexico and Serbia traveled to the United States to attend a four-day tour of LFG energy project sites in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Nearly 20 people participated in the tours and visited a total of seven LFG energy projects. Site visits provided the participants with ideas for successfully utilizing LFG in direct-use applications, which are not typical in Mexico and Serbia. This was the second study tour of LFG energy projects in the U.S. conducted by the U.S. EPA under GMI.
Recent Developments and Resources
- On 16 February 2012, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, along with environmental ministers and ambassadors from Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, the United States and the executive director of the United Nation Environment Programme, announced the launch of a new international initiative that will focus efforts on reducing short-lived climate pollutants including black carbon, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and methane. Information and press releases from the GMI Partner Countries involved can be found on GMI's News and Events Page.
- Partner Country Australia passed a plan for a carbon tax in July 2011, as part of their Clean Energy Future (CEF) Plan . The plan includes comprehensive measures aimed to reach Australia's GHG emission reduction targets and will establish a carbon pricing mechanism by 1 July 2012. The mechanism is expected to tax 500 of Australia's biggest emitters. Included in the CEF Plan is more than $13 billion in assistance for clean energy projects.