In a bid to incentivise the use of a range of renewable energy technologies to produce heat, the UK Government launched the Renewable Heat Incentive programme. The programme provides both non-domestic and domestic operations with a quarterly payments for reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Meeting the strict criteria to collect payments can be daunting for anaerobic digestion plant operators. To ease reporting, Ricardo Energy & Environment recently launched a tool for plant operators.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) are an incentive set up by the UK Government, and administered by Ofgem, to promote the use of renewable heat generation. The use of renewable heat generation is part of the government’s wider strategy to reduce the country’s carbon emission in line with international norms – which aim at a limit of warming to less than 2 C. The RHI provides incentives for both commercial as well as domestic provisions of renewable heat generation. Generators of heat energy that meet a range of criteria, are eligible to receive quarterly payments for an extended period, reflecting “the amount of clean, green renewable heat it’s estimated their system produces.”
While the system provides incentive to implement a range of technologies to reduce GHG emissions, the practical monitoring side of the generation process is relatively complex. Those seeking to receive quarterly benefits, must also provide quarterly reports that their biofuels and bioliquids operations meet Renewable Energy Directive (RED) emissions levels.
In a bid to support anaerobic digestion, Ricardo Energy & Environment in collaboration with plant operators has developed a new emissions reporting tool. Plant operators producing biomethane for injection already calculate their GHG emissions (using the RED methodology) – which must not exceed 34.8g of CO2 per megajoule (MJ) of input material. The reporting tool by Ricardo Energy & Environment now provides a simple means to accurately report emissions in line with regulatory requirements. The tool seeks to reduce the risk of non-compliance to and non-payment of RHI-related transactions.
In terms of technical specifications, the reporting platform is able to make calculations using 10 different feedstocks for each consignment, allows eight specific fertilisers to be used, as well as featuring recently produced Defra direct emissions from inorganic fertilisers within the UK’s specific environment.
Paul Maryan, Managing Consultant at Ricardo Energy & Environment, remarks, “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. 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.”
Earlier this year Ricardo was commissioned by the EC to deliver a sustainable transport tool.