ETI appoints Baringa to examine future of UK biomass logistics

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has appointed energy consultancy Baringa Partners to lead a new ETI bioenergy project examining the future of biomass logistics in the UK, alongside Ecofys and LLamasoft.

Utilising LLamasoft’s supply chain design software, Supply Chain Guru, the six month project will model the logistics requirements of future bioenergy scenarios, identifying commonalities and differences across the different scenarios and highlighting potentially key decision points and actions required to ensure logistics infrastructure in the UK can support a growing bioenergy sector.

The project team will start by reviewing the current status of biomass logistics infrastructure in the UK and how it has developed, while also identifying and drawing on lessons that can be learnt from the development of logistics networks in other relevant sectors such as oil, coal and other commodities.

The future bioenergy scenarios will represent a range of future options to understand the impact that decisions on technology choices and feedstock sources might have on logistics infrastructure development.

“ETI’s whole energy system analysis shows that bioenergy can play a significant and valuable role in helping the UK meet its 2050 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets cost-effectively, especially when combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS),” Andrew Thomas, ETI bioenergy project manager, said.

“Together they can deliver net negative emissions of around 55 million tonnes a year, and meet around 10% of UK energy demand in the 2050s, ultimately reducing the cost of meeting the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets by more than 1% of GDP. In the absence of CCS, bioenergy is still a cost-effective means of decarbonisation and should play an important role in meeting the 2050 emissions target.

“Delivering the greatest value from bioenergy depends on the UK’s ability to source and distribute sufficient biomass from sustainable sources, either domestic or imported. While UK sourced biomass offers the greatest energy security and sustainability benefits in the longer-term, sustainably sourced biomass imports will continue to be important,” he added.

John Calder from Baringa Partners said: “There are a number of key strategic questions to be addressed around the UK ports, road and rail network, inland and coastal waterways and storage across the supply chain to ensure it is setup to meet the future needs of the biomass sector.”

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