Climate Change Activists and friends of ADATS prepared a Biogas CDM Project and got it registered as the world's first pro-poor CDM Project on 10 December 2005. The plan was to build 5,500 domestic biogas units that replace non-renewable biomass used in the baseline and generate 19,553 CERs every year for the next 21 years.
ADATS entered into an Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) with Velcan Energy, France, wherein we sold the entire 136,871 CERs that would be generated during the first 7 years, in advance, for a lump sum of € 1.1 million.
With this money, ADATS built 5,488 domestic biogas units for as many poor women from 339 villages in Chickballapur Taluk in 2006 and 2007. The commissioning of all these units has been completed and poor women enjoy smoke-free cooking, cleaner kitchens, better health, and a huge saving in the time and effort they used to put in to collect firewood.
In keeping with our strict policy that we would not gain from carbon revenues, not a single Rupee was spent on overheads. 16 teams of ADATS Field Staff implemented this CDM Project voluntarily. 128 local Masons were trained to build these units at a nominal wage of Rs 800 per unit. Labour was contributed free of cost by the End Users' families, with the entire village Coolie Sangha assisting single women and the elderly. The total expenditure on the project was Rs 62.57 million and average cost per unit worked out to a mere Rs 11,349.
The total usage, as on 10 May 2015, stands at 16,364,906 days, and 159,614 Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) have been generated to date. When all these CERs are verified and sold in the Carbon Market, the Carbon Investor will already recover 350% of investments in 8 years. Thenceforth carbon revenue will go to the End Users of the project who actually generate the CERs.
Many Verifications of this Project have been completed and CERs issued into the ETS. The Carbon Investor has already sold them at a premium price. This CDM Project has also been registered as Gold Standard and we can therefore expect an even higher price per GS CER. Please see http://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/DB/DNV-CUK1131002343.1/view?cp=1 for official project documents, including PDD, Monitoring Report(s), Issuance Certificate, etc.
There is, however, a flip side to all this — biogas is not a technology that reaches out to the "poorest of the poor". Since biogas units need both, cattle as well as space close to their houses, only 34% of the End Users are SC/ST women, 20% are from Middle Castes and 47% from Upper Caste families. 85% of them have good houses, 5% have modest houses, and the remaining 10% live in bad houses.