Project technologies of our carbon offset projects

How does a carbon offset project with ... work?

Every carbon offset project saves CO2, but the individual projects are based on different technologies.

Biogas

In biogas facilities, biomass ferments into biogas in sealed digesters. Biomass may consist of organic waste or dung from cows or other animals. In countries such as India and Vietnam, families use gas generated from small biogas facilities for cooking, thereby avoiding the use of wood or charcoal. 

Additional greenhouse gas reduction is achieved from the fact that the biomass used does not rot in the open air, which would release methane (CH4). For example, in our biogas project in Bagepalli, India.

Biomasse

Biomass projects involve energy being created from renewable biomass, which could be coconut shells, sawdust, wood chips, the residue of sugar cane processing, bamboo or wood from sustainable sources. No trees are felled, or fossil fuels burned, so no CO2 is emitted.

As an additional greenhouse gas reduction measure, such projects mostly involve preventing biomass from rotting in the open air, so that no methane (CH4) is released. Our biomass project in Brazil shows how this works.

Clean cook stoves

In many of the world's poorer regions, families cook their meals over an open fire, often in enclosed spaces. This method of cooking is however not energy efficient, as large amounts of heat go to waste. Clean cooking stoves are often simple devices made from metal or clay that use energy more efficiently. Families can thus save fuel and cut down on carbon emissions. Sometimes the stoves are even used in small businesses – such as our cooking stoves project in Peru

Clean drinking water

Two billion people in the world have no access to clean drinking water. Many families have to boil their drinking water over an open fire, resulting in carbon emissions and deforestation. Where water can be cleaned chemically (e.g. with chlorine) or mechanically (with filters), or where groundwater can be provided from wells, these carbon emissions can be avoided. How clean drinking water improves living conditions can be read in our drinking water project in Odisha, India.

Solar energy

Since energy from solar panels is created without burning fossil fuels, it is considered emission-free. The growth of renewable energy production is essential to prevent global warming and secure energy supplies for the future.

The amount of emissions saved by a solar energy project is calculated using the baseline method: how much CO2 would be released by generating the same amount of energy using standard energy production methods for the region? You can read that this is a great deal in our solar energy project in Namibia.

Forest protection

Forests, especially tropical ones, store CO2. For projects aimed at combatting climate change, there are essentially three methods for creating and sustaining forestry as a carbon sink:

  • forestation and reforestation
  • sustainable forest management (where the amount of timber harvested does not exceed the amount that can grow back)
  • financial incentives for the protection of forestland as a carbon sink (the UN's REDD+ program), whereby the project owner must ensure that tree cover is maintained

Our forest conservation project in Kenya shows the immense influence such a project has.

Hydropower

Since hydropower is created without burning fossil fuels, it is considered emission-free. The growth of renewable energy production is essential to limiting global warming and securing energy supplies for the future.

The amount of emissions saved by a hydropower project is calculated using the baseline method: how much CO2 would be released by generating the same amount of energy using standard energy production methods for the region? Take a look at our exclusive hydropower project in Virunga National Park in DR Congo.

Wind energy

Since wind energy is created without burning fossil fuels, it is considered emission-free. The growth of renewable energy production is essential to limiting global warming and securing energy supplies for the future.

The amount of emissions saved by a wind power project is calculated using the baseline method: how much CO2 would be released by generating the same amount of energy using standard energy production methods for the region? Our wind energy project in Aruba shows how this works.

Energy efficiency

In energy efficiency projects, the calculation is simple: lower energy consumption, lower carbon emissions. Often, but not always, it boils down to saving fossil energy. Projects can be set up to also make company production processes more energy efficient, for example by using efficient kilns in brickworks or by recovering heat from machines. At the same time, those responsible for energy efficiency projects often switch to renewable energy sources, such as biomass, to further strengthen the protective effect on the environment.
By the way, our cooking stove projects are also energy efficiency projects. With their additional social benefits, they are very important to us, which is why we have them as a separate category here.