During a feasibility study, we will examine all your options for energy efficiency, decarbonisation of electricity, heating and transport. Our technology diagnostic approach ensures that your net zero targets can be met realistically while minimising risk and cost.
Our breadth of technical expertise spans the energy, waste, transport and water sectors. This enables us to evaluate all options and identify the most suitable path for you to implement, while working with facilities management contractors to verify the viability of projects.
The outcome of the prioritisation from a list of identified measures feeds into your overall outline plan and recommendations.
The timing of implementation is the critical component of the roadmap. Therefore, the plan will include the recommended timescale for each major measure, setting out the critical path to implementation, while taking into account their priority, urgency and interplay with other measures, as well as the technology’s commercial readiness.
Modern Energy Partners (MEP) programme
Ricardo has been working on the Modern Energy Partners (MEP) programme, which is funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Stragey (BEIS) and the Cabinet Office. It has been delivered by the Energy Systems Catapult since 2019. The aim of the programme is to develop an approach to support whole energy-system solutions to decarbonise the public-sector estate – focusing on Ministry of Defence (MOD), Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and National Health Service (NHS) sites.
Ricardo led the delivery of one of four pilot projects at a prison cluster. Subsequently, our experts have provided support with a mixture of energy surveying, submetering strategy development, and heat and/or power assessments at over 20 prisons, hospitals and MOD sites. The overall outcome from the MEP programme will be a scalable, consistent and standardised approach to developing decarbonisation plans for the public sector estate.
Hospital: net zero concept design feasibility
Our client is aiming to be on track to cut the hospital's emissions to net zero by 2050. Heating accounts for the largest proportion of energy use at the hospital and is the largest source of emissions. Following preliminary analysis and a feasibility study, gas-based combined heat and power (CHP) – including hydrogen-based CHP – has been identified as the most viable solution to reduce emissions. Ricardo is supporting the hospital on the concept design of the CHP system.
Our analysis involves:
• Carrying out a site audit.
• Reviewing available data.
• Analysing the heating, cooling and electricity demands.
• CHP sizing.
• Conducting a financial analysis of the feasible technical options.
• Recommendation and conceptual design of the preferred option.
The analysis will also consider the barriers, challenges and potential for burning a gas mix that could have a hydrogen content of up to 20%. Ricardo will undertake a review of the hydrogen equipment market and will analyse the performance of the CHP based on a hydrogen/natural-gas blend.
Waste Carbon Tool
Ricardo’s Waste Carbon Tool models the direct and indirect emissions and carbon impacts associated with local authorities’ waste collection (recycling, transport, processing, treatment and disposal operations).
It drills down through the results hierarchy to show the biggest contributor to carbon emissions – ‘carbon hotspots’ – and identifies possible interventions and service changes. These can be compared as multiple scenarios to measure the potential influence of each scenario.
This enables local authorities to concentrate resources on interventions that represent the maximum environmental benefit (e.g. carbon impact per tonne of residual waste production) rather than focus on collecting the heaviest components of the waste stream.
Ricardo's Waste Carbon Tool provides a more level playing field between rural and urban demographics and enables a transition from absolute targets to individual material stream targets linked to the best environmental option for a particular material.
Decarbonising Brighton & Hove City Council's Domestic Housing Stock
As a registered social landlord, Brighton &Hove City Council has a portfolio of domestic properties that are heated by natural gas. However, as the forthcoming Future Homes Standard prohibits new gas heating systems from 2025, the Council was required to seek zero carbon alternatives.
Ricardo delivered a technical analysis of alternative heating systems for a new build estate, including assessing the economic and carbon impact of ground source heat pumps (GSHP), district heating, solar photovaltaic (PV) and thermal storage, and worked with the Council’s facilities management team and architects to validate the proposed solution.
Ricardo’s expertise ensured that the Council had:
• Independent advice when making complex decisions.
• Certainty that the optimal solution had been identified.
• A planned and costed solution.
• Buy-in from internal and external stakeholders.
• A net zero carbon heating solution.