As Panchabuta had reported yesterday, CTRAN Consulting Pvt. Ltd, in a one of a kind initiative was able to aggregate micro carbon credits from 15,000 users of Solar Water Heaters in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka, register it as a CDM project and sell the CER in the international market.
This leads us to the question if this is part of a larger trend of the evolving carbon market in India that we keep hearing about a lot, but nothing much to see except for large businesses and renewable energy utility sponsored projects.
There is not much for the end user who might be a solar water heater user as in this case or a solar cooker as their individual carbon credit entitlements are usually negligible, but as shown in this case with scale could become a viable CDM project and mean a lot more in terms of money to these users than the corporations.
The key to this success has been the ability of CTRAN and through the help of its parent BASIX’s micro finance team, aggregate the carbon credit entitlements per individual unit that were negligible and not of marketable size and bundle the whole acreage into one CDM project and get it registered with the United Nations Framework convention on climate change (UNFCC) as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project.
Further, the cost of registering such individual projects is usually not viable and hence the credit is wasted as individual consumers often do not use it.
According to this report in Bloomberg, RWE AG, Germany’s second-largest utility, agreed to buy 227,460 United Nations emission credits at about 20 percent below market prices. The credits have been sold to RWE Power Aktiengesellschaft in a forward purchase agreement.
There are two important challenges that this kind of a project will face.
The first will be to identify such projects , get them CDM certified. This will require a lot of creative thinking and partnerships that CTRAN has been able to achieve in this case. This will involved coordination between Non Government Organizations on the ground, Micro Finance Institutions(MFI) and consultants to get together to identify such projects on a regular basis.
The second challenge, will be to aggregate the CERs which will be a challenging task but an absolute essential for enabling a broader carbon market in India that goes beyond the utility scale developers and projects and the bigger off grid mega watt scale roof top projects. Once again MFI,NGOs could provide and facilitate for the aggregation of such CERs for a small fee given their network and out reach today.
This is often encountered in similar cases, by small wind mill owners who own not more than (250-500KW) in capacity and often find it difficult and prohibitive in cost and paper work to get it CDM certified and entail the CER benefits. A number of smaller consultant companies are working in this area too.
Panchabuta views this as a great development that will help in promoting carbon finance as a vehicle towards providing incentives necessary to enhance the penetration of such off grid solar and other renewable energy projects.