New biomethane GHG calculator helps AD plants

New biomethane GHG calculator helps AD plants
04 August 2016

Ricardo Energy & Environment has launched a new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions calculator to make it easier for anaerobic digestion plant operators to report their biomethane emissions and secure Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments.

Since the 5 October 2015 UK operators looking to claim RHI from producing renewable energy, biofuels and bioliquids have had to provide quarterly reports to prove that they do not exceed Renewable Energy Directive (RED) emissions levels. However, there is currently no GHG calculator in the public domain that is specifically designed for biomethane projects, making reporting a complex process for operators injecting biogas into the grid.

Plants producing biomethane for injection under RHI must not produce GHG emissions over 34.8g of CO2 per megajoule (MJ) of input material, as calculated with RED methodology. The new calculator, developed in close collaboration with UK anaerobic digestion plant operators, allows users to accurately report these emissions to the regulators exacting requirements. Ricardo Energy & Environment also provides a GHG calculator for heat generation, available as a stand-alone tool or as a ‘combi’ version to support projects claiming RHI on heat and biomethane. Both calculators are designed to accelerate the GHG calculation process while reducing the risk of non-compliance and non-payment of RHI.

“When it came to calculating GHG emissions under the new scheme many of our colleagues working in anaerobic digestion felt like they were banging their heads against a brick wall”, said Dr Paul Maryan, Ricardo Energy & Environment managing consultant. “That is what motivated our team to produce a GHG calculator that simplified the process. Following the success of the first model launched in 2015 our new updated model further reduces the time it takes to produce quarterly reports while ensuring plant operators are fully compliant with UK energy regulations.”

Designed for speed and ease of use the new calculator features 10 different feedstocks for each consignment. It also allows eight specific fertilisers to be used and contains recently produced Defra direct emissions from inorganic fertilisers to establish emissions factors specific to the UK. The new version also features an updated set of standard values and offers enhanced functionality, including more copy functions and the facility to add comments

Ricardo Energy & Environment has a heritage of over 40 years providing technical guidance and support to help national governments and private sector organisations monitor and reduce their emissions. The new calculators draw on the consultancy’s past experience creating the UK’s GHG inventory, plus its work on the Green Investment Bank’s ‘Green Investment Handbook’ and its unparalleled understanding of RED methodology.

Contact [email protected] to find out how the new biomethane GHG tool is reducing the time and effort required to secure RHI payment.