Clean Energy Regulator Determination on Local Government List

The Clean Energy Regulator has today made a determination on the number of local councils with landfill sites that could be emitting large amounts of methane and other gasses.

The Clean Energy Regulator has today made a determination on the number of local councils with landfill sites that could be emitting large amounts of methane and other gasses.

Of 559 councils across Australia, the CER has found that 32 have landfill sites generating more than 25,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent gasses per year.  There are also 2 local councils who are liable as natural gas suppliers.

It is clear the vast majority of landfills in Australia will not be covered by the carbon pricing mechanism

Under the Clean Energy Future plan, councils have the opportunity to reduce or eliminate their carbon price liability by capturing dangerous gasses produced by decomposing, putrescible waste contained in landfill sites, in order to bring them below the 25,000 tonne threshold.

The captured gas can be destroyed through flaring or turned into electricity. Councils could be eligible to earn carbon credits for gas that is destroyed and can earn Renewable Energy Certificates for producing electricity from the gas. Income can also flow from selling the electricity. These opportunities are available to local councils irrespective of whether they are liable entities.

Under the measurement rules for landfill waste, emissions from new waste are deemed to begin to occur in the following year rather than the year that the waste is deposited. This means that landfill operators will not need to surrender any carbon units for emissions from landfill waste in 2012-13 for waste which is deposited during 2012-13.

The Clean Energy Regulator, the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and the Australian Local Government Association will continue to provide information, answer questions and work closely with councils to determine the best approach to maximise CEF opportunities and cut greenhouse gas pollution from each landfill site.