Types of Carbon Offset Projects Available on the AirCarbon Exchange
There are many different types of carbon offsetting projects that are registered under the CDM, Verra and Gold Standard registries. They can be broadly categorised into eight sectors namely:
Reduction of High Global Warming Potential Gas
Cement, Coal Mine and Methane Reductions
Supply-Side Energy Efficiency (EE)
Afforestation & Reforestation
These project types are all available and tradable on the AirCarbon Exchange as different types of AirCarbon Tokens.
What Are Carbon Offsets and How Do They Work?
Carbon Offsets are reductions in greenhouse gases (GHG), measured in tonnes of CO2 equivalents, when GHG is stored, destroyed or avoided. 1 ton of Carbon Offset can be used as a Carbon Credit to offset your emission of CO2 in other activities. All Carbon Credits have to meet minimum requirements set by the registries and they are:
Real: All carbon offsetting activities must be proven to have already taken place.
Additionality: The green projects would never happen without the financial benefits that it gets by becoming a carbon offset project.
Measurable: The amount of carbon dioxide removal/ reduction can be scientifically measured and proven to be true.
Transparent: The project developers have to provide appropriate and adequate information to the public to ensure that intended users have enough information to make an informed decision.
Categories of Carbon Offset Projects
1. Reduction of High Global Warming Potential Gas
These type of Carbon Offset projects include reducing emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) and fluorinated gases like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFC), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Such projects commonly reduce GHG emissions through capture, storage and decomposition into less harmful gases. Some commonly captured GHG gases are Adiplic acid, Nitric acid, Caprolactam, Fluroform (HFC-23), Norflurane (HFC-134a), Tetrafluoromethane (CF4). These gases are more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) in trapping heat.
2. Renewable Energy (Solar, Wind, etc.)
Renewable Energy projects includes using Wind, Hydro, Solar, Geothermal energy to generate electricity or heat. Wind projects include building Wind Farms (also known as Wind Power Plants) both onshore and offshore. Types of Hydro projects includes building of new dams, repowering old dams to make them more efficient, and building of Run of River Hydro Power Plants. There are a wide variety of Solar projects; these projects include Solar PV, Solar PV water disinfection, Solar thermal power, Solar water heating and Solar cooking. Geothermal projects include generating electricity and heat energy.
3. Cement, Coal Mine and Methane Reductions
These type of projects include cement clinker replacement, capture and usage of methane in coal mines. These types of coal mine projects are commonly found in China, where the methane that they captured are used to generate power to the mine.
4. Supply-Side EE
There are many different types of Supply-Side EE projects, including increasing efficiency of using coal, oil, waste heat and steam boiler. These projects many focus on reducing emissions of GHG through increasing efficiency of energy generation.
5. Fuel Switch
Fuel Switching projects are projects that switch from coal to natural gas or oil, from oil to electricity or Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or natural gas. It also includes building new natural gas plants. These projects help to reduce GHG emissions to switching to cleaner sources of fuels.
6. Demand-Side EE
There are a great number of types of Demand EE offset projects. Some examples would be switching out energy inefficient appliances, reduce energy losses through bad insulations of heat/cold, introducing solar-powered appliances and lighting. These projects focus on reducing GHG emissions caused by using more energy from inefficient household or buildings.
7. Afforestation & Reforestation
These type of projects include afforestation, mangroves and forests stewardship, agroforestry and reforestation. Currently, these type of projects are one of the most popular project with carbon offset purchases.
Transport related carbon offset projects include more efficient train systems, more efficient vehicles, using biodiesel vehicles for transport and scrapping old vehicles.