Japan utility buys carbon emission credits from China hydro

Tohoku Electric Power Co. has bought all the carbon dioxide (CO2) emission credits from two Chinese hydroelectric projects.

Tohoku, Japan’s fourth-biggest utility by revenues, said March 5 the credits would be purchased from two hydro projects to be run by Chinese power producers Lijing Wulanghe Hydropower Development Co. Ltd. and Sichuan Bahe Hydropower Development Co. Ltd.

The two plants, in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, are to begin operation in April. By the end of 2012, they are projected to displace 980,000 tons of CO2 that would have been emitted if fossil fuels had been used to generate the power.

Tohoku said the projects are expected to be registered under the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) about September after getting the approvals from Japan and China. CDM allows companies from rich nations to invest in developing nations and then claim credits back home for averted carbon dioxide emissions.

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