Economics should be open

November 6, 2008

EPER, consistency with indirect emissions, email

So using EPER (European Pollution Emissions Register), I’ve found some anomalies with Aluminum data. The main question is whether some countries might be counting indirect emissions (akin to life cycle analysis). Aluminum,  as I understand it (I can cite a McKenzie report), has very small direct process emissions and mainly uses electricity. Since the CO2 generated is usually attributed to the power plant, that CO2 is “indirectly” emitted by Aluminum producers.

On the same token, my personal direct emissions are the gasoline/petrol and natural gas I burn. The indirect is all the CO2 associated with the electricity I use.

Here is a letter I sent to EPER folks at the European Commission. Hope I get a response!

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To Whom It May Concern:
I am a researcher at the Univ of California, Berkeley working with the EPER data. First of all, I want to thank you for providing this information; I’ve found the information very useful and appreciate full access to the database tables (MS ACCESS).
I have a question about the underlying the questionnaire, a copy of which I could not find online (ASIDE: does every country implement their own version of the questionnaire?). My question regards direct vs indirect emissions of CO2 and double-counting. If a manufacturing firm only uses electricity, is the manufacturer’s CO2 emissions zero and the indirect CO2 is reported at the utility level?
Aluminum, anecdotally, should have very small direct CO2 emissions because the main input is electricity. However, the following is just one example of an aluminum producer record with very large CO2 emissions. This leads me to believe that indirect emissions are counted sometimes.
Thank you in advance for your help in understanding the data.
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EXAMPLE OF HIGH CO2 RECORD FOR ALUMINUM PRODUCER

CountryID:  DE

ReportYear:  2004

Emission.FacilityID:  216219

ParentCompanyName:  TRIMET ALUMINIUM AG

Address:  Aluminiumallee 1

City:  Essen

FacilityName:  TRIMET ALUMINIUM AG

Emissions (metric tons):  301000

Code:  2.1/2.2/2.3/2.4/2.5/2.6

Description:  Metal industry and metal ore roasting or sintering installations, Installations for the production of ferrous and non-ferrous metals

Text:   Aluminium production                                                                                                                                                                                   

MainActivity:  1

ActivityID:  12

— 
Howard Chong
Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics and UC Energy Institute
UC Berkeley
chong@are.berkeley.edu
Office: 510-643-4831
Cell: 510-333-0539
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October 31, 2008

CITL, coverage for the ETS, matching to EPER

Filed under: Carbon Trading, Data Insights, Open Source — Tags: , , , , , — howardchong @ 9:53 pm

This post is a big deal for me because it really pushes me to stay true to open source principles.

So, here’s the deal.
The ETS is the Emissions Trading Scheme, a cap and trade carbon program in Europe.
The CITL is the Community Independent Transaction Log for the ETS.
The EPER is European Pollution Emissions Register (http://eper.eea.europa.eu/eper/) which is a European version of the Toxics Release Inventory in the US, only much better in that it covers more emissions (including CO2).

And, my current project is this 50 hour effort to match records in the CITL to records in the EPER.

What’s the big deal? Well, I’m getting insight into what companies were excluded from the ETS, something that may or may not be well highlighted in the national allocation plans. For all the mandarins running the ETS, could it be that they failed to ensure that countries included all units that should be under the ETS in the ETS? It gets to the question of whether allowances were too high (somewhat, my own sense is that economic activity and weather had something to do with the “over-allocation”).

So, here’s the deal. There’s plenty I want to do with this data and I think there is a small time window to do it. So, if you want to work on this project with my matched database, please write me.

As academia is all about getting credit for what you do, we’d have to talk carefully about credit, etc. But my prior is that any work done would be collaborative and everyone gets to share credit.

If you are a private firm doing proprietary market research (i.e., you wouldn’t want what you do with the data to be public), ask me what info you need, and I’ll probably give it to you, perhaps for a fee or some other trade. This information has a full list of contact information for EUA permit holders.

I’m already telling you too much by telling you that there’s something interesting in the EPER-CITL data matching, but that’s the risk I’m taking. Partly because I think it is more important that good research be done and get out there than that I get total credit.

You comments are deeply appreciated.

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