The 501Carbon Blog

How to Calculate the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE)

The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) is a measure designed to compare the prices of different electricity generation assets. It represents the average total cost of building and operating a power generation asset over its entire lifetime, divided by the total lifetime power output of the asset. Understanding the LCOE of an electricity-generating asset tells you what cost of electricity is required to breakeven. However, it has limitations and is not the only way to compare projects.

Climate-Smart Agriculture: What makes a project smart?

Climate-smart projects focus on mitigating climate risks, planning for potential adaptive transitions, and finding opportunities for reducing or removing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. Climate-smart agriculture fully embraces the foundational ideas of the green economy. The idea was conceived with the fundamental planetary boundaries in mind; in particular, with a growing population poised to reach 9 billion by 2050, the limits of the World’s food production systems will be challenged. Climate-smart agricultural methods should therefore address both food security and climate concerns by using resources efficiently and preventing the overuse of croplands.

Biomass Energy Generation: Putting waste to work

Biomass refers to biological material derived from living or recently living organisms. Usually it refers to plant-based materials classified as lignocellulosic biomass: essentially, biomass that is composed of the parts of plants that humans cannot digest. For energy production, biomass can be either combusted to produce heat (and electricity if the heat is used in a power plant) or used indirectly by converting it into biofuel. There are three ways to produce energy from biomass, classified broadly as thermal, chemical, and biochemical methods. This article explores the implications of scaling up the use of energy from biomass.

An Introduction to Carbon Offsets through Climate-Smart Agriculture

The idea of developing carbon offset credits for agricultural projects is relatively new and somewhat controversial. This article introduces the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture and its implications. While climate-smart agriculture represents an opportunity for farmers to improve the environmental performance of their operations, the guidelines for what makes a project "climate-smart" remain unclear.

How Carbon Offsets Fund Renewable Energy

Renewable energy

has been a hot button topic for decades now, fueled by everything from the gasoline shortages of the 1970s to the controversies surrounding fracking for natural gas. The topic touches every part of modern politics, and it may even find support among those who want to eliminate oil from possible motivations for military action. While solar power, geothermal energy, methane digesters, and dozens of other methods of alternative energy have been proposed as popular solutions for the world's energy needs, the constant refrain of why they won't work is the cost. Who's going to pay for all of these solutions, and how? The answer to that question just might be everyone who uses carbon offsets.

Global powers struggle with energy poverty

The big headlines about the UN Climate Summit in New York on September 23 have come and gone. World leaders, economists and diplomats gathered to "make bold commitments" to reversing the trend of global warming due to CO2 emissions. Amid all the big talk, however, one of the most critical issues in global energy needs and consumption was utterly ignored: energy poverty.

What A Carbon Offset Should Be

The topic of greenhouse gases and the human impact on the environment is not going to go away any time soon. The main thrust of the issue is on the one hand humans have energy needs, and on the other hand those needs (transportation, manufacture, agriculture, etc.) tend to produce greenhouse gases when they're fulfilled. The goal is to find a way to meet all of the needs of the burgeoning population, while simultaneously putting the smallest strain on the environment possible. While no one solution has been found for the problem a potential solution that has been presented (and embraced) is the concept of carbon offsets.

The Role That Developing Countries Can Play In Climate Change Policy

There has to be a role for developing countries when it comes to climate change. As we know, this is going to have to be a problem that the whole world works on together. However, there is obviously a larger burden on the countries that are currently producing a larger portion of the carbon emissions, namely the developed countries.

Carbon Offset Programs Can Combat Increased Atmospheric CO2

The importance of sustained carbon offset efforts is further highlighted by news that concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increased significantly in 2013. According to the World Meteorological Organization, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere worldwide averaged 396 parts-per-million in 2013. This figure was 3 ppm higher than that recorded the previous year.