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Co-firing with biomass at Edenderry Power Station

Exemption of Biomass Power Plants of capacity less than 15 MW from the need of taking Environment Clearance

Rajasthan (2015)

Biomass Resource Assessment for Haryana state

Vol 9, Issue 4- February 2016

Decentralized Application of Biomass Gasifier for thermal energy demand

Issue 6- Oct-Dec 2015

Biomass resource availability in Kerala

A Model of Fuel Supply Linkages at SLS Power, Nellore

Issue 5- July-Sept 2015

Vol 9, Issue 3- December 2015

Biomass Supply Management Using ERP Platform

Electricity Generation using Pine Needles in Uttarakhand

Amendments in the Tariff Policy

CERC approved modified procedure for implementation of REC Mechanism w.e.f. 05.11.2015

Rajasthan biomass fuel supply study 2015

Ensuring sustainable biomass supply at Malwa Biomass Power Project

Agro residue resource availability in Andaman & Nicobar

Cane trash as an alternate fuel resource for biomass cogeneration plant

Rescheduling of 2nd Renewable Energy Global Investors’ Meet & Expo (RE-INVEST) to 14 - 16 March, 2017

Biomass gasification based combined heat and power plant at Güssing, Austria

Maharashtra policy for grid connected power projects based on new and renewable energy sources – 2015

Biomass agro-residue resource availability in Tamil Nadu

Biomass agro-residue resource availability in Karnataka

Engine manufacturers for Producer Gas

Andhra Pradesh biomass resource study  

Uttarakhand biomass resource study  

CSP-Biomass hybrid plant In Spain - a case study  

Summary of Policies and Tariff for Promotion of Grid Connected Biomass Power Projects  

Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds for renewable energy
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Global CER - VER Market

Carbon credits and carbon markets are a component of national and international attempts to mitigate the growth in concentrations of GHGs. The goal is to allow market mechanisms to drive industrial and commercial processes in the direction of low emissions or less carbon intensive approaches. Since GHG mitigation projects generate credits which can be sold, this approach can be used to finance carbon reduction schemes.

Globally, there are two main green or carbon markets that exist for GHG emission reduction:

·    Carbon Emission Reduction (CER) market under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of United Nations Framework Convention on
    Climate Change (UNFCCC) under Kyoto Protocol

·    Voluntary Emission Reduction (VER) market which is voluntary market for GHG emission reductions

CER Market under CDM of UNFCCC

UNFCCC under Kyoto protocol created a compliance market, a legally binding obligation for industrialized countries (called as Annex I countries) to reduce GHG emissions to an average of 5% against 1990 levels during the first commitment period of 2008 to 2012. At Conference of Parties (COP) in 2012 it was agreed to have the ongoing second commitment period to further reduce the GHG emissions by at least 18% below 1990 levels by 2020, by when a planned new mechanism is envisaged to be in place for implementation. Various deliberations have been going on for several years now about this new mechanism and a clear guiding agreement is expected in December 2015 during the next planned UNFCCC COP-21 meeting at Paris.

CDM is one of the flexible mechanisms under Kyoto Protocol. The Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) generated by CDM project activities, which reduce GHG emissions in countries where there is no emission cap under the Kyoto Protocol (Non-Annex I countries), may be used by countries with emission reduction commitments (Annex I countries) with set targets.

On one hand the industrialized countries can utilize the bought CERs for their compliance use to fulfill their emission reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. On the other hand, the non-annex I countries can gain additional investment and make profits by selling CERs issued from the projects.

CDM allows governments or private entities in industrialized countries to implement emission reduction projects in developing countries like India, and receive credit in the form of CERs, which are tradable, saleable credits that can be used to meet a part of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol. Thus through the CDM project cooperation between developed Annex I and developing non-annex I countries, a win-win situation can be realized in a cost-effective way. Other imminent benefits of CDM include technology transfer to the host country as well as improvement in livelihood of local communities through job creation and increased economic activity.

CDM projects can fall under renewable energy, energy efficiency, GHG avoidance, reduction of agricultural based and industrial emission, afforestation and reforestation categories.

CDM Project Cycle

All the CDM projects have to go through a rigorous CDM project cycle before they get registered with UNFCCC and later undergo regular monitoring and verification processes before issuance of CERs on implementation of project and achieving envisaged GHG emission reduction.

CDM projects involve the following major steps: 1) Project Identification Note (PIN), 2) Project Design Document (PDD) development, 3) Host Country Approval (HCA), 4) validation by a Designated Operational Entity (DOE), 5) registration with UNFCCC, 6) monitoring of the implemented project activity, 7) verification and certification of achieved ‘additional’ emission reduction by a DOE and 8) issuance of CER by UNFCCC and entering it into its registry. CDM project cycle is depicted in the figure below.

PDD development is the most important aspect of a CDM project. PDD follows the rules and regulations, methodologies and tools prescribed under CDM. PDD includes information on the project, methodology applied, additionality of the project, emission reduction calculations and monitoring arrangements of the project. All projects mandatorily require approval from host country authorities denoted as Designated National Authority (DNA). In India, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) functions as DNA.

After registration and implementation of projects, CDM activities are monitored based on the monitoring arrangements as given in the PDD to estimate the actual GHG emissions achieved by the project. The same is verified and certified by a DOE before UNFCCC issues the CERs. Project participants should pay a registration fee (at the time of registration) to cover the administrative costs of registering their projects and an issuance fee (at the time of every CER issuance) to cover the cost of the issuing CERs generated by the project activity. Small scale projects whose GHG emission reduction is less than 15,000 t CO2eq are exempted from paying the registration fee and also methodologies and monitoring processes are relatively simplified.

Possible CDM biomass projects

Biomass projects, being renewable and carbon neutral, are eligible under CDM; however as mentioned above it needs to pass the additionality test as per the UNFCCC CDM Executive Board (CDM-EB) approved applicable large or small scale methodologies. Project developer can also develop its own methodology and get it approved by CDM-EB through DOE at the time of project registration. It is also essential for a proposed CDM project activity to establish that the project would not occur under the baseline scenario and that it contributes to sustainable development of host country.

In case of biomass it is important to establish that the project has sufficient sustainable supply of biomass and would not lead to deforestation or lead emission leakage within and outside the project boundary. (Say, for example, by displacing biomass from cooking fuel to project and thereby increasing fossil fuel consumption).

The biomass power and cogeneration projects which can be considered under CDM include:

  • Power generation (grid connected or decentralized off-grid, captive use, cogeneration)
  • Biomass power plants based on combustion/gasification/cogeneration

  • There are about 200 biomass power and cogeneration projects in India which are registered under CDM registry. The state wise summary of these projects is provded below.

    Details of CDM Projects in India


    Biomass Power Projects

    Bagasse/Biomass Cogeneration  projects




    Andhra Pradesh
























    Madhya Pradesh





















    Uttar Pradesh



    West Bengal






    Source: CDM Registry

    Click here for details of biomass power projects registered Under CDM registry

    Click here for details of bagasse/ biomass cogeneration projects registered Under CDM registry

    In addition, recently around 28 CDM Program of Activities (PoA) have been registered (and eleven of them are at various stages of validation) and developed from India with over 4 million CERs. The biomasses related are: Irrigation (1), Rice crops (1), Rice husk (1), other agricultural residues (2), Stoves (4), Landfill composting (1), Domestic manure (1).

    After the end of first commitment period of Kyoto Protocol in December 2012, there has been an uncertainty in the CER market globally, and especially for India, since Emission Trading Systems (ETS) would not buy CERs from projects in developing countries like India registered post 2012. However there is hope of market revival after more clarity on the future of global carbon market after the upcoming COP-21 meeting at Paris scheduled in December 2015 where global negotiations are envisaged to reach an agreement for a new mechanism to be placed in 2020.

    Voluntary Emission Reduction (VER) Markets

    Voluntary Emission Reductions or Verified Emissions Reduction (VER) refer to tradable emission reductions that have been generated according to defined standards and requirements other than the compliance market under Kyoto Protocol. Thus VERs are reductions that are not mandated by any law or regulation, but originate from an organization’s desire to take active part in climate change mitigation efforts and reduce emission within their own operations and/or invest in climate mitigation projects to offset its greenhouse gas emission footprint.

    Many CDM projects also opt for VERs such as a) pre-registration CDM projects under operation but waiting for registration, b) projects with a start date that do not confirm with the CDM-EB requirements and c) special situations, including technologies, which are not accepted under compliance regime.

    Some of the popular standards for VER projects include Voluntary Carbon Standard, Gold Standard VER, California Climate Exchange, California Climate Action Registry, etc. Carbon offsetting through VERs is a quicker and a relatively less expensive process of project approval and verification than CDM. It has to be however noted that the prices that VERs can command in the market is also lower than those of CERs.

    Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)

    The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) (Version 3, 2011) is a Greenhouse Gas Programme, that is described as a ‘comprehensive quality assurance system used to account for greenhouse gas emission reductions and credits’. It was established by the Verified Carbon Standard Association (VCSA).

    Also, as part of the VCS, there is a registry system in which carbon credits can be awarded with unique serial numbers, which means that any project and credit can be tracked using the online project database. The VCS Registry system involves three independent registry providers: APX, Markit, Caisse des Dépôts.

    As of 1 April 2015, VCS project database reports that 1,263 projects have been registered, and so far over 140,000,000 VCUs have been issued to 958 projects.

    For further information on Voluntary Carbon Standard, refer to

    Gold Standard for VERs

    Gold Standard (GS) is a quality standard for carbon emission reduction projects with added sustainable development benefits and guaranteed environmental integrity. Gold standard for CDM projects was launched in 2003 and the methodology for VER projects was launched in May 2006. In the Gold Standard, all voluntary and compliance projects use the UNFCCC methodologies and tools irrespective of the project size.

    Gold Standard project developers invite local stakeholders to conduct two consultation meetings (one in the initial stages of the project and one just before validation) to make sure that the project responds to local concerns regarding the environmental and social impacts, as well as impacts on the local economy. This is different from CDM, wherein only one consultation meeting is required.

    Gold Standard project developers use a sustainable development matrix to calculate the impact of the project with the help of these consultations. Only projects with an overall positive impact on the environment, social network and local economy are considered for Gold Standard.

    Not all CDM CERs and voluntary emission reductions are eligible under Gold Standard. Only energy efficiency projects, methane to energy projects and hydro projects of size less than 15 MW and other renewable energy projects are eligible. Gold standard for certified emission reductions follows the same procedure as CDM along with its own requirements.

    The Gold Standard registry will only track VER credits originating from voluntary offset projects that have been certified by the Gold Standard. Gold Standard labeled CERs will be tracked by the official UNFCCC registry system.

    The total number of Gold Standard projects as of 1 January 2015 are: New Project Applicants (134), Listed (324), validated (107), registered (262), and 278 projects with issued VERs using over 100 project types (methodologies) involving over 290 project developers through projects in over 70 countries with cumulative 40 million GS t CO2eq issued.

    For further information on Gold Standard, refer to

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    Last updated on: May 20, 2016