Publications

Feasibility StudyThe Role of Offsets in Meeting Duke University's Commitment to Climate Neutrality: A Feasibility Study

The University commissioned its own Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions to undertake a comprehensive feasibility study to explore how carbon offsets could be employed to reach that goal. The study identified swine-based agricultural methane projects, forestry, and energy efficiency as the three most likely areas for local offset development by the University.

Swine StudyFacilitating Carbon Offset Projects on North Carolina Swine Farms to Encourage Greenhouse Gas Emission and Other Pollution Reductions: An Assessment of Aggregator Options and Offset Ownership Issues

The DCOI partnered with Environmental Defense Fund and the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic to analyze options for structuring the aggregation of carbon offsets generated from swine farms for the U.S. EPA. The report explains what is needed to help farmers enter a carbon offset exchange or marketplace in a way that yields multiple benefits, including (1) avoiding emissions of methane-a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide; (2) achieving dramatic reductions in pollution associated with the lagoon-and-sprayfield systems currently used to manage waste on the majority of swine farms in the state; and (3) generating renewable electricity to help meet state Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) requirements.

A Spatial-Economic Optimization Study of Swine-Waste Derived Biogas Infrastructure Design in North CarolinaA Spatial-Economic Optimization Study of Swine-Waste Derived Biogas Infrastructure Design in North Carolina

A brief overview of the optimization study.

This report by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative highlights a comparative modeling analysis considering individual and centralized approaches for meeting North Carolina's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) mandate for swine. It finds that injecting biogas collected from an optimized network of farms into the natural gas pipeline could be a cost-effective approach to meeting the state REPS.