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Carbon Sequestration Reporting to the EIA

In the Bush Administration's Voluntary Climate Change Initiative (to reduce Greenhouse Gases), the reporting mechanism is administered by the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) through Form 1605. All data submitted by the Common Purpose Institute (CPI) to the EIA has undergone science based peer review by the:

  • Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI);
  • U.S. DOE's Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL);
  • University of Florida's School of Forestry & Conservation;
  • Reviewers at EIA.

    EIA's Form 1605 has 3 types of categories for voluntary measures to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions:

  • Direct (e.g., effeciency improvements, fuel switching)
  • Indirect (e.g., carpooling, recycling programs)
  • Sequestration (e.g., planting trees, forestry practices)
  • The following discussion addresses the Sequestration component of voluntary measures as reported by the EIA.

    Overview of Sequestration Projects: In 2003, EIA reported Projects (through Form 1605) sequestered approximately 8 million metric tons of CO2. AES Companies' Projects accounted for ~85% of the total reported carbon sequestration. AES Companies (Independent Power Providers) are providing grant monies to Non Government Organizations (NGOs) to promote sustainable forestry practices, preservation, and economic development in South American countries (Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Boliva) [1] [2] [3].

    An overview of carbon sequestration projects by Energy Companies can be found at the following EIA Webpage.

    Common Purpose Institute Projects: For 2004, two projects were reported to the EIA from work efforts at our energy crop treefarm in Lakeland, Florida:

  • Below Ground Carbon Sequestration from Tree Crops
  • Carbon Soil Building from Hurricane Wood Wastes
  • Summary of EIA Data: In 2003, 52 Companies reported carbon sequestration projects. Nationally, the demonstration efforts of CPI and the University of Florida (UF) at our treefarm research site would rank 10th among all Entities reporting data to the EIA. Within the South, our CPI/UF work effort would rank 3rd among reporting Entities.

    Top 10 U.S. Companies in Sequestering CO2
    (in 000's of CO2 equivalent metric tons)

    CO2 Sequestered
    AES Companies
    American Electric Power
    Southern Company
    DTE Energy
    BP America
    Wisconsin Electric
    Common Purpose Institute

    Breakdown of CO2 Sequestration Efforts in the South:

    Focus of Carbon Sequestration Research:
    Carbon Sequestration research can be categoried into 2 general fields of study:

  • Terrestrial
  • CO2 Capture & Storing
  • The U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has an excellent website explaining the current state of sequestration research.

    Geologic Sequestration:

    Interactive Geologic Sequestration Model

    View geologic sequestration in action by clicking here to save the executable file to your desktop or run it from its location. Once the model is displayed, select the interactive choices in the left hand corner to display how CO2 concentrations will change over time.
    Terrestrial Sequestration Research typically includes the development of fast-growing trees and plants (e.g., grasses, legumes) and deciphering the genomes of carbon-storing soil microbes -- which is the focus of our research in Florida.

    (1) AES Shady Point: In cooperation with OXFAM America, AES is supporting indigenous groups from Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia in gaining control over their lands in the Amazon and developing sustainable forest resource extraction plans.
    (2) AES Thames: AES is investing to establish agroforest and woodlot systems in Guatemala to help offset CO2 emissions from AES coal fired power plants. AES is working with the World Resource Institute and CARE to assist 40,000 farmers to plant trees over a 10 year period.
    (3) AES Hawaii: AES is partnering with The Nature Conservancy and the Mosies Bertoni Foundation for endangered tropical forests in Paraguay owned by the World Bank.