Apples in the tree of greenhouse – GreenPower

Carbon Management 101 – GreenPower must be additional to LREC[1], LREC generate RECs, 1 REC = 1MWh Qt*EF, 1 Carbon Offset = 1t CO2-e. Therefore GreenPower payments help meet project costs and do not count as a carbon offset, nor is it a REC, it is a project additionality – it would not have happened had it not been for the desire of the buyers to reduce emissions from the need to generate energy for their needs. Simple isn’t it?

Then, along comes a matter of days into the ACT Elections cycle, the Green MLA saying:  “There are significant issues with GreenPower’s operation and management, which are placing unfair price pressures on GreenPower customers,” Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury said yesterday. Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/rattenbury-hits-power-claims-20120917-262vl.html#ixzz26nDlNtte

Possibly it might have been wiser for them to say there is a need to rethink ‘what’ is marketed for political purposes. If we start with the word ‘Carbon’ you will notice governments – including the greens, get hung up on ‘additionality’, and there are two definable types that need to be understood. That is project additionality, and environmental additionality, as mention earlier project additionality is ‘had it not been for …it would not have happened’. Environmental additionality is what is written into carbon legislation. You would notice from the article the ACT Greens selectively leave this point out when they criticized as ”misleading” marketing of GreenPower electricity schemes. It would be far more correct and honest to say there is a need to call on parliament to address the legislation and the issues of GreenPower as project additionality. We also notice the ACT Greens are now freely calling the Carbon Price a ‘tax’.

So who is at fault that many GreenPower customers have been angered by not being exempted from power bill increases linked to carbon pricing? Is it the Greens for being silent until days before an ACT Election? Is the problem that GreenPower customers are wising up that a 49% shareholder (ACT Government) of the dominate energy provider is benefiting from GreenPower customers willing to pay higher power bills in exchange for their provider purchasing the equivalent amount of electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar farms projects. In other words willing to invest in project additionality for MWh displacement.

CO2Land org therefore must conclude: It is correct that GreenPower customers should be spared higher costs linked to carbon. Carbon is the issue here; it does not fit to use that term, as they are two different spheres.

It makes no sense to levy a carbon price to an emission reduction tool and is the same argument that successfully separates LREC’s from being claimed as a carbon offset for an carbon liability, and to expect them to be lumped together is nonsense and misleading. What would better serve the customers of GreenPower is for adequate notice of what you are buying to be clear in labeling of the benefit assessed in terms of a difference of emission factor reduction by region. Why do we need a Climate Change Authority to do what is obvious – call it for what it is: An emission reduction scheme that customers volunteer to participate in – a means of counting the apples in the tree of the greenhouse!


[1] Renewable energy certificates known as Large-Scale Renewable Energy Certificates (LRECs) are created to conform to Schedule 2 Part 1 Section 4 of the Act. Wood waste is excluded from being a LREC.

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