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New biomethane GHG calculator launched to help AD plants secure RHI payments

A new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions calculator has been launched by sustainability consultancy Ricardo Energy & Environment to help UK anaerobic digestion (AD) plant operators 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, according to Ricardo, 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 said in a statement.

GHG emissions

“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 Paul Maryan, Ricardo Energy & Environment managing consultant.

He added: “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.”

The new calculator features ten 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