Minnesota s agriculture in a carbon constrained economy
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Minnesota’s agriculture in a carbon constrained economy. Capture and combustion. Bjorn Gangeness November 27, 2007. Climate Change in Context. Nearly inarguable evidence showing human influence in raising average global temps The challenge of what to do and how

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Minnesota s agriculture in a carbon constrained economy

Minnesota’s agriculture in a carbon constrained economy

Capture and combustion

Bjorn Gangeness

November 27, 2007

Climate change in context

Climate Change in Context

  • Nearly inarguable evidence showing human influence in raising average global temps

    • The challenge of what to do and how

  • Solutions coming from different levels of government and citizen participation

  • Different sectors play different roles - energy generation to consumption to agricultural production

Minnesota s emissions reduction goals

Minnesota’s emissions reduction goals

  • 80% reduced carbon emissions below 2005 levels in 2050, 30% in 2025 (eq. to 45.3MMT)

  • Reductions could come from

    • efficiencies,

    • reduced energy use,

    • carbon offsets,

    • geologic capture and storage,

    • or terrestrial capture and storage

Carbon and agriculture

Carbon and Agriculture

Source: bp.com

Carbon and agriculture1

Carbon and Agriculture

  • Large agricultural industry in Minnesota overwhelmingly focused on corn and soy

  • New initiatives that will make perennial biofuel crops more attractive

    • Governor’s NextGen Energy Initiative

    • Reinvest in Minnesota – Clean Energy

New crop initiatives and carbon

New Crop Initiatives and Carbon

  • The problem is the extent in considering carbon sequestration in development

    • No mention of carbon stock goals

    • No anticipation of carbon cap and trade system

  • If addressed, perennial biofuels may develop more securely in an unsure marketplace

Reinvest in mn clean energy

Reinvest in MN – Clean Energy

  • $46 million requested appropriation for 2008

    • $40 M for bioenergy crop easements

    • $6 M for administration

  • 13,000 acres expected easements for a maximum 20 year payment of $3077/acre

  • Recognition of potential to work with other initiatives within the Federal Farm Bill

  • Tiered system of payments depending on type of practice implemented

Example of tiered system

Example of Tiered System

Relevant criteria

Relevant Criteria



  • No action – simply allow biofuels incentives to move forward on the current path

  • Integrate carbon credit system into the tiered payment structure based on BMPs

  • Set carbon stock increase goals for each tier

    Full Appropriation Assumed ($46M in 2008)

No action alternative

No Action Alternative

  • Economic Efficiency

    • 13000 acre goal but likely higher

    • 1.6 MTCO2e/acre/yr 21,000 MT/yr or ~ 420,000 MT over 20 yrs ($95/MT)

  • Ecological Integrity

    • Monoculture

    • Perennial is good for WQ

    • Habitat is better than row-crop

  • Simplicity

    • Monoculture is easier to harvest, plant, manage

Carbon credit integration

Carbon Credit Integration

Carbon credit integration1

Carbon Credit Integration

  • Addresses benefits of credit trading in each tier

  • No control over the carbon credit market so no price guarantees

  • Carbon markets are still voluntary, though a national system could change that

Carbon credit integration2

Carbon Credit Integration

  • Economic Efficiency

    • Minimal administrative fees to integrate and promote seeking of carbon credits for practices

    • Stacked payments make incentives more attractive

  • Ecological integrity

    • Grass species are not distinguished for in CCX

  • Simplicity

    • More complicated than No action, but stacked payments outweigh administrative consequences

Goal of increased carbon stocks

Goal of Increased Carbon Stocks

Goals of increased carbon stocks

Goals of Increased Carbon Stocks

  • Higher sequestration goals per tier with mixed practices

  • Economic Efficiency

    • More diversified fuelstocks, less market sensitivity

    • Higher payments for higher sequestration rates

  • Ecological Integrity

    • Wetlands and SRWCs create more diverse habitat than simple grass species

  • Simplicity

    • The most complicated option



  • Train technical assistance providers in carbon markets

  • Follow the progress of the development of Midwest GHG Reduction Accord

  • Incorporate data from NextGen cellulosic pilot projects

  • Create flexibility within the RIM-CE structure that allows for more fluid transitions to alternative crops (among/between species)

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