Wednesday, November 14, 2012

$175,000 per year out of pigs' bums

 It's official. "Australia's first carbon farming piggery and is projected to earn $175,000 in carbon credits a year." The Hon. Mark Dreyfus announed this number at the Carbon Expo last week.The winners of our National Carbon Cocky Award for Climate Action (Sponsored by Carbon Farmers of Australia): Michael and Edwina Beveridge, “Blantyre Farms”, Young NSW is creating enough electricity to power its entire operations by capturing and converting methane from pig manure. There are approx. 650 piggeries in Australia. K-ching! This will be a special test for the Additionality Principle. At what  point will the Common Practice Test cut off the source of funds? 5%? 30%? Given the investment required ($300k+), will other pig farmers take it on when the payback horizon blows out from 2 years to 10 or 15 without the carbon credits? If they can take thousands of tonnes of methane out of the atmosphere, why prevent them? This case of a single industry will demonstrate clearly the limits of the fiction embodied in the saying: "They would have done it anyway."

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