Drax opens consultation on biomass carbon calculator

By Erin Voegele | May 06, 2020

Drax recently opened a public consultation on a new biomass carbon calculator it has developed to help calculate wood pellet supply chain greenhouse gas (GHG) lifecycle emissions in accordance with the U.K. Renewables Obligation and certain European Union directives.

“Biomass can only be considered a low carbon, sustainable energy solution when it can be evidenced that significant GHG emission savings are delivered on a lifecycle basis, considering emissions released throughout the entire supply chain,” said Drax in the consultation documents. “It is therefore important that the lifecycle emissions of biomass are calculated and reported both accurately and transparently.

“Drax is committed to taking a leading role in the lifecycle emission reporting of biomass,” the company continued. “We aim to deliver transparent and accurate reporting of our own supply chain emissions and wish to encourage and facilitate improved reporting across the entire industry. As a contribution towards delivering these objectives, Drax has developed the ‘Drax Biomass Carbon Calculator.’”

Drax said the tool has been designed to address several issues with existing publicly available GHG compliance tools, including over-reliance on default or typical values; inconsistencies between collected supply chain data and calculator input fields; a requirement to model the full supply chain for each feedstock type individually; and lack of transparency.

According to Drax, the new calculator requires users to enter actual supply chain data for calculating the carbon intensity of biomass supply chain, with data inputs aligned to standard units of measurement used by the industry. The calculator also allows users to simultaneously model up to 20 different feedstock groups and 10 different distribution routes for a single biomass production plant.

Drax is seeking input from stakeholders regarding methodology, accuracy, scope and usability. The consultation period is open from May 1 through June 12. Following the consultation, Drax said it intends to update the calculator where mutual areas for improvement have been identified. Once updated, Drax said it will undertake additional third-party verification to ensure the calculator remains in compliance with regulatory requirements.

Additional information is available on the Drax website