Have you ever wondered where the picture from my banner post was taken? It was taken at the NGCP Substation inside in the Kalayaan Power Plant complex in Laguna, Philippines sometime February or March of 2011.
It was my first foray to be part of a CDM Validation team as an observer, technically no, since I got my Lead GHG Verification course in September 2011. I was just the “dakilang alalay” or slave of Adarne Crispo, carrying with me our personal protective equipment or just proof reading the CDM Validation report to be submitted to the UNFCCC CDM Registry.
My mentor-mentee relationship with Mr. Crispo is somewhat complicated, because I am not sure what is the concrete outcome. I have no idea what competence I have gained in the complicated field of CDM Validation/Verification or even GHG Verification of Corporate GHG Inventories. Nothing moved forward, as if somebody is stopping my growth on purpose, even my Lead Auditor qualification in ISO 14001 was shelved for three years, even my qualification in GLAD was purposely not updated. Anyway there is Karma, if my designated operational entity does not want me in their roster, I can always move forward with confidence, and I have. Though things seemed like I have thrown it on the back burner, that is still my ultimate career goal.
The CDM registry is already closed for emission reduction projects, people are now talking about Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action, Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and after COP 21 comes the Nationally Determined Contributions. Everyone’s anticipating the ratification of the Paris Agreements, but the Philippines seems lukewarm about it. The concept may not be fully understood by the current leadership, maybe our DENR Secretary can show some good animated materials for the president’s appreciation. I am very happy now at this point in time working to support some of these efforts.
The Validation of the CDM project on SF6 Emission Reduction in High Voltage Transmission will always be my first and somehow last CDM Validation project. I was working at the back-office technically supporting Mr. Crispo, though we would hate each other every now and then, I never really took it personally, unless of course he did. Working on the validation project gave me a strong technical foundation on the nature of SF6, as the most potent greenhouse gas considered by the IPCC. It is relatively easy to monitor and measure since its emission calculation methodology is mass balance. Uncertainty is somewhat low, based on the API 2009 GHG compendium. Being in the validation/verification component of the project, the focus was strengthening the quality of data on SF6 use and looking more into the maintenance processes of High Voltage Electrical Systems.
I was able to use that knowledge in auditing Geothermal, Natural Gas and Coal Fired power plants on their quality and environmental management systems. I have realized that its high GWP was not always considered environmentally significant, due to absence of a local regulatory framework. However, its significance in terms of cost is always highlighted. A cylinder can cost around PHP 300,000 to PHP 500,000 in the Philippines, the add-on in terms of shipment cost due its nature as a Dangerous Cargo in the EU. Maybe the Paris Agreements can change this in the long run. Not to lower cost but to force users to conserve a valuable and at the same time, a dangerous resource.
SF6 was not included in the national GHG inventory of the Philippines. It is not a halocarbon, it is an F-Gas but the Second National Communication at base year 2000 have not considered it even if it is grouped together with HFC and PFC. Some people would call me crazy for my high regard of this F-Gas. Even now working on HFCs and PFCs, I never fail to mention SF6 as the most potent F-Gas of it all. Without a proper inventory, no one will really kow how much we really use this stuff and how much the Philippines is currently emitting GHGs from SF6.