From the editor
All the environmentalists better take a hard look at this. Looks like wind power is just to create carbon credits. Here comes big Hydro Dams, Big Coal Plants and Nuclear. We need to join forces and take back our electrical system.
T h e e 8 ‘ s r e c o mm e n d a t i o n s
Flexible Mechanisms under a future international framework on climate change must guide investments towards low
greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting options.
International institutions and national governments are increasingly looking to the private sector to invest in development
projects, especially in the case of climate-related initiatives.
To promote private sector involvement, the Flexible Mechanisms must not restrict the types and sizes of technologies and
projects that can be implemented to fight climate change and promote sustainable development.
The e8, an international group of leading electricity companies from the G8 countries, has undertaken small demonstration
projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in the Kingdom of Bhutan and on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
One of the most important lessons from these projects is that Flexible Mechanisms can play a major role in reducing GHG
emissions if large-scale electricity generation projects are permitted and indeed promoted.
The CDM process presents several barriers to project development. As a result, most of the projects registered to date are:
1. Projects targeting gases (HFC, N2O, CH4) with higher global warming potential than CO2 in order to generate a high
volume of CO2 credits and revenue so as to be financially attractive, and;
2. Small- or medium-size low cost energy sector projects.
Barriers to the deployment of large-scale electricity generation technologies should be eliminated in order to promote the
development of projects that will make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and increasing access to electricity.
Large-scale electricity generation technologies that should be further promoted by the CDM include:
Large hydro plants – As of December 2006, the CDM Executive Board (CDM EB) had approved only 17 hydroelectric
projects over 15 MW out of 456 CDM projects, of which only a few have installed capacity in excess of 100 MW. The
European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS) has placed certain restrictions on the recognition of projects
exceeding 20 MW. Credits from hydroelectric projects exceeding 20 MW are only recognised if the projects comply, in
particular, with the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams. Such restrictions have limited the potential
of large hydroelectric projects to contribute to the efforts invested in reducing GHG worldwide. Large hydroelectric
generation projects can support sustainable development and achieve significant reductions in CO2 emissions, and
should thus be fully recognized by the Flexible Mechanisms.
Other large renewable projects – Introducing more renewables in the future energy mix when and where it is
appropriate, will help to ensure security of supply along with the reduction of CO2 emissions. This type of project
should continue to receive strong support through the future framework process.
Large efficient coal power plants – The relative low cost and abundance of coal will ensure that coal-fired electricity
generation will continue as a significant source of electricity generation. Opportunities for improving the efficiency
of coal-fired generation and reducing GHG emissions include implementation of supercritical and other clean coal
technologies, and carbon capture and storage. With the development of appropriate baselines, the reductions in
CO2 emissions associated with these new technologies can be verified and should be recognized by the Flexible
Nuclear power plants – Internationally, there is growing recognition that nuclear generation will have to be expanded
to mitigate CO2 emissions while reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Although the international climate change
agreements do not expressly prevent a project developer from proposing such a project to the CDM EB, no nuclear
projects have been presented to date. Nuclear generation must be recognized by the Flexible Mechanisms as a carbon free
source of electricity.