Support for all aspects of biomethane production and use

Support for all aspects of biomethane production and use

Ricardo provides insight and technical advice in all aspects of biomethane production and use.

What is biomethane?

Biomethane is a renewable gas produced by upgrading biogas produced from waste and biomass feedstocks during Anaerobic Digestion (AD), and from gases generated from thermal gasification plant using advanced conversion technologies (ACT). Biomethane is a replacement for fossil natural gas, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Who can benefit from biomethane?

Plant operators can extend their market opportunities and access RHI or RTFO support by upgrading biogas to biomethane, which can then be used remote from the production site.

Companies transitioning to renewable fuels can purchase biomethane to decarbonise their gas supplies or vehicle fleets.

How can Ricardo help?

Ricardo provides insight and technical advice in all aspects of biomethane production and use. We help clients by providing independent advice on:

  • Feasibility – options, costs, benefits and risks.

  • Due diligence - technology performance, track record/commercial status and feedstock supply.

  • Sustainability requirements – compliance with regulations, biomethane leakage.

  • Business case planning/development – evaluation of technology options; review of design, operation, feedstock and performance; risks; options for use, including comparison of government incentives; trading of guarantees of origin; environmental permitting; accreditation; and procurement.

Performance reviews – comparing performance with estimates; advice on improvements in plant performance.

Biomethane feedstock supply and characterisation

We support our clients to select the feedstocks best suited to their technical and commercial needs. 
 
Our team has over 20 years’ technical experience of biomass feedstock selection for biomethane plants. A decade of performance monitoring allows us to offer valuable insight on feedstock characteristics that influence plant performance, the need for pre-processing and other factors that influence plant operation.
 
Our recent work includes supporting BEIS to model UK and international biomass; a review of costs and feedstock availability as part of a wider study on biogas and biomethane in Ireland; and several local biomass availability and cost assessments for private sector clients.

Technical advice on biomethane to grid (BtG) technologies

We help our clients to minimise investment risk through independent technical due diligence on AD and ACT. This includes advice on acquisition and investment, identification of technology suppliers, plant performance and project monitoring and advice on the risk of biomethane leakage.

Our extensive knowledge of the waste and biomass sectors and policy insights assists our clients’ decisions. This includes reviewing process technology and track records, assessment of anticipated performance against environmental permits, risk assessment, eligibility for government incentives and assistance with environmental permit applications and accreditation for RHI.

Our due diligence and commercial expert witness work means we are familiar with site operations and reference plant performance.  We support clients to evaluate the options for the use of biomethane, reviewing the benefits and risks of the different options with a view to how the biomethane market could develop.
 
We have audited the performance of a wide range of projects, including as principal audit contractor for the RHI scheme (Ofgem) and the Quality Assurance Programme (DECC). We also monitor schemes supported by the DfT Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition and the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition.

Support to meet carbon and sustainability requirements for biomethane production

 Renewables incentives require biomethane plants to meet sustainability requirements, including carbon emissions. We provide an easy to use tool for calculating GHG emissions from biomethane production and upgrading, developed in collaboration with the biomethane industry. This facilitates reporting of GHG emissions under the RHI and can be used by operators to explore operational changes that could reduce GHG emissions. It is used in almost half of operational biomethane sites in the UK. 

Strategic advice on how biomethane can contribute to company decarbonisation plans

Decarbonisation of industrial energy supply will become increasingly important in the future. We recently ran a series of webinars to advise industry on the likely impacts of the 2050 Decarbonisation Roadmap Action Plans; and we have advised the World Bank on options for climate competitive industries. We can draw on this experience to support clients review of technical options for decarbonisation using biomethane, comparing the benefits, costs and risks.

To find out how Ricardo can support you at each step of your biomethane project, contact Pat Howes at pat.howes@ricardo.com