Development of the monitoring plan
Monitoring of a CDM project activity takes place pursuant to a monitoring plan which requires approval at registration. The monitoring plan provides for the collection and analysis of all data relevant to the calculation of emission reductions from the project activity.
Project participants are required to develop and describe the monitoring plan for the proposed CDM project activity in accordance with the selected methodology and all other applicable CDM rules and requirements. The monitoring plan is a key component of the project design document (PDD), which sets out the structure, operation and scope of the CDM project activity.
The modalities and procedures for small-scale CDM project activities, provides specific requirements for the development of monitoring plans for small-scale project activities:
Project participants shall include, as part of the project design document for a small-scale CDM project activity or bundle of small-scale CDM project activities, a monitoring plan. The monitoring plan shall provide for the collection and archiving of the data needed to:
- Estimate or measure anthropogenic emissions by sources of greenhouse gases occurring within the project boundary during the crediting period as specified in appendix B for the relevant project category;
- Determine the baseline of anthropogenic emissions by sources of greenhouse gases occurring within the project boundary during the crediting period, as specified in appendix B for the relevant project category;
- Calculate the reductions of anthropogenic emissions by sources by the proposed small-scale CDM project activity, and for leakage effects, in accordance with provisions of appendix B for the relevant project category (4/CMP.1, Annex II, paragraph 32).
The CDM Project Standard sets out further elements that must be included in the monitoring plan for all types of project activities:
- The operational and management structure to be put in place to implement the monitoring plan;
- Provisions to ensure that data monitored and required for verification and issuance be kept and archived electronically for two years after the end of the crediting period or the last issuance of CERs, whichever occurs later;
- Definition of responsibilities and institutional arrangements for data collection and archiving;
- Quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) procedures;
- Uncertainty levels, methods and the associated accuracy level of measuring instruments to be used for various parameters and variables;
- Specifications of the calibration frequency for the measuring equipment. In cases where neither the selected methodology, nor the Board's guidance specify any requirements for calibration frequency for measuring equipment, project participants shall ensure that the equipment are calibrated either in accordance with the local/national standards, or as per the manufacture's specifications. If local/national standards or the manufacture's specifications are not available, international standards may be used. (CDM Project Standard paragraph 56)
In addition, the CDM Project Standard provides further mandatory considerations specifically relevant for the development of monitoring plants for small-scale project activities:
- Data variables that impact the GHG emission reductions continuously (e.g. quantity of the fuel inputs, amount of heat or electricity produced, gas captured) shall be measured continuously and recorded at appropriate intervals. Data elements that are generally constant (e.g. emission factors, calorific value, system efficiencies) shall be measured or calculated at least once a year, unless other specifications are provided in the selected methodology;
- Measuring equipment shall be certified to national or IEC standards;
- The calibration of measuring equipment shall be carried out by an accredited person or institution;
- Measured data with high levels of uncertainty or without adequate calibration shall be compared with location/national data and commercial data to ensure consistency. (CDM Project Standard paragraph 97)
Bundled projects may use a separate monitoring plan for each project activity, or an overall monitoring plan for all project activities:
If project activities are bundled, a separate monitoring plan shall apply for each of the constituent project activities in accordance with paragraphs 32 and 33 above, or an overall monitoring plan shall apply for the bundled projects, as determined by the designated operational entity at validation to reflect good monitoring practice appropriate to the bundled project activities and to provide for collection and archiving of the data needed to calculate the emission reductions achieved by the bundled project activities. (4/CMP.1, Annex II, paragraph 34)