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News » London Solar News » September 2010

September 2010

Volume I, Issue 3

In this issue

- Welcome

- CO2 and CO, too

- Carbon market

- Social networking

Welcome to the Fall 2010 edition of London Solar News, brought to you by SunTap Technologies. The leaves are changing and there is a chill in the air, but there will always be plenty of solar energy during the fall and winter to help you generate clean, green energy.

This issue features an article about how solar prevents pollution, and we continue the series on the concept of a "carbon market".

Thanks for reading, and feel free to shoot us an e-mail with any comments or questions to If you enjoyed this newsletter, forward it to your friends!


Mike and Tim

CO2 and CO, too

Solar energy systems are a great way to supplement or replace traditional (i.e. polluting) methods of generating heat and electricity. By avoiding the need to burn fossil fuels or use nuclear power, we reduce the pollutants that are emitted into the air and water.

A solar electricity (PV) system rated at 2 kW can prevent about 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted. A solar hot-water system for a family of three to five can avoid roughly one tonne of emissions of carbon dioxide.

There are other noxious gasses that are prevented from being released as well, including carbon monoxide, methane, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.

the theories about climate change and the greenhouse effect aside, reducing air and water pollution can only help the world as a whole, and as that whole must find alternatives to fossil fuels.

Carbon market

In the August newsletter, we gave an introduction to carbon markets. This is part two of the series. Read part one in the August edition of the newsletter.

What is required for a project to qualify for carbon credits?

1. Additionality:
This is the biggest requirement for a project to qualify for carbon credits. A project must be able to show that the emissions offset from the projects are additional, meaning the emission reductions would have otherwise occurred without the carbon credits. A project must meet one of the three requirements to qualify for carbon credits:

  • Investment Analysis: The project is not economically or financially attractive, or economically or financially feasible without the revenue from the sale of carbon credits
  • Barrier analysis: There must be at least one barrier preventing implementation of the proposed project without the carbon credit:
    • Investment Barrier: a financially more viable alternative to the project activity would have led to higher emissions
    • Technological barrier: a less technologically advanced alternative to the project activity involves lower risks due to the performance uncertainty or low market share of the new technology adopted for the project activity and so would have led to higher emissions
    • Barrier due to prevailing practice: prevailing practice or existing regulatory or policy requirements would have led to implementation of a technology with higher emissions
    • Other barriers: without the project activity, for another specific reason identified by the project participant, such as institutional barriers or limited information, managerial resources, organizational capacity, financial resources, or capacity to absorb new technologies, emissions would have been higher.
  • Common practice analysis: it must not be common practice in its region compared to projects that have received no carbon financing.

2. Baseline
The project baseline involves the energy use of the building that is being replaced in the case of a retrofit, and the energy use that would otherwise have been built in the case of a new facility. The energy used is multiplied by an emission coefficient to determine the emission released from the energy used.

3. Monitoring and Verification
For retrofit measures, monitoring shall consist of:

  • Documenting the specifications of the equipment replaced
  • Calculating the energy saving due to the measures installed

In the case of a new facility, monitoring shall consist of:

  • Metering the energy use of the building(s)
  • Calculating the energy savings of the new building(s)

This article is courtesy of Kevin Tse, who holds a master's degree in sustainability and the environment.

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