Carbon Policy: How measurement and verification can improve policy effectiveness – the book
You can’t manage what you don’t measure
Around the world, over 1000[i] carbon policy measures to reduce carbon emissions have been implemented, with varying degrees of effectiveness. In many cases the level of carbon abatement achieved as a result of a policy is unknown and unquantifiable because it simply has not been measured. The consequence of failing to measure savings is wasted energy efficiency investments of up to billions of dollars globally. Moreover, the actual carbon abatement may be much lower than if a methodological approach had been employed based on a rigorous Measurement and Verification (M&V) plan.
With the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide now around 400 parts per million (ppm) and rising at close to 3 ppm per annum understanding the efficiency and effectiveness of carbon abatement policy is ever more critical, particularly in a world with considerable economic uncertainty.
Carbon Policy – How robust Measurement and Verification can Improve Policy Effectiveness, puts forward the case for incorporating more robust M&V (also known as Measurement Reporting and Verification,MRV) – in the synthesis and assessment of carbon abatement policy.
Why this book?
Carbon Policy – How robust Measurement and Verification can Improve Policy Effectiveness is written by Bruce Rowse, CarbonetiX founder and non-executive director. Bruce says “Since 2002 when CarbonetiX first started I have had daily exposure to a range of carbon abatement policy, effective and ineffective. In running a business that delivers energy efficiency services I’ve been at times buffetted, at times swept along, at times dumped by the huge range of policies that I’ve been exposed to Australia, a country which has not been shy in the carbon policy area. My hope is that this book will make a practical contribution to more efficient, more effective, more certain carbon abatement.”
What the book covers
This short book is presented in four parts.
Firstly, it presents a range of existing policy types and critically examines those that do and do not incorporate a rigorous M&V approach. The book examines three policy types where M&V is not included; minimum performance standards, white certificate and grants. It presents two examples of policies where there are strong reasons why the policy may not have been effective or where actual performance is unknown. The book also presents an example of a policy with strong M&V from an unlikely source – grant funding.
Secondly, it presents a range of technologies that can greatly reduce emissions from the use of fossil fuels, and how to measure and verify the savings arising from the implementation of these technologies. Why is a discussion on technology useful?
- All too often the outcome from applying a given technology is seen as certain whereas there is great variability in the certainty of the energy and carbon savings achieved by different technologies.
- The benefits of the implementation of technologies are often over-represented.
- The level of confidence in long term savings from the implementation of difference technologies is highly variable and in many cases uncertain
- In summary, knowledge of the level of certainty in savings derived from the implementation of different technologies in concert with the assessment of technology impacts are essential requirements in the design of effective energy efficiency policies.
Thirdly, it defines M&V, exposes the fallacy that M&V is too expensive and proposes ways in which M&V can improve the quality and relevance of policies and policy choices. It discusses the need to apply rigorous M&V processes in energy efficiency project design and to an acceptable “fail fast” level. Suggestions are provided as to how M&V can be incorporated into three widely-used carbon abatement policies.
Fourthly, two objections to achieving high certainty of carbon abatement are explored and countered: the cost of M&V, and the argument that aiming for high certainty can cause unwanted delays and stymie carbon abatement. The book discusses trade-offs that can be reached between the degree of certainty, costs of M&V and the rate of carbon abatement.
Book summary presentation:
Get the book
Published by CarbonetiX, Carbon Policy – How robust Measurement and Verification can Improve Policy Effectiveness is available in a wide range of ebook formats, including Apple, Android, Windows and Kindle book readers. Click here to get the book.
[i] Australian Government Productivity Commission, Carbon Emission Policies in Key Economies Productivity Commission Research Report, 2011, xiv.