Baringa Partners appointed to lead ETI biomass logistics project

By Katie Fletcher | December 07, 2016

The Energy Technologies Institute recently appointed energy consultancy Baringa Partners to lead a new ETI bioenergy project, alongside renewable energy consultancy Ecofys and supply chain management software provider LLamasoft. Together, the companies will examine the future of biomass logistics in the U.K. The project will model the logistics requirements of different future bioenergy scenarios, identifying commonalities and differences, key decisions and action required to ensure logistics infrastructure in the U.K. can support a growing bioenergy sector out to 2050.

“We are delighted to be extending our long-standing relationship with the ETI on this strategic project to help the U.K. meet its 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission target,” stated John Calder with Baringa Partners. “Logistics is a growing areas of focus across our energy practice as the industry seeks to ensure the supply chain is setup to minimize cost, GHG emissions and HSE risk and ensure continuity of supply.”

Calder added, “There are a number of key strategic questions to be addressed around the U.K. 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.”

The project is set to take six months and will utilize Llamasoft’s supply chain design software, Supply Chain Guru. The project team will start by reviewing the current state of biomass logistics infrastructure in the U.K. 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 is investing £400,000 ($508,498) in the project.

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

He added, “Together, they can deliver net negative emissions of around 55 million metric tons a year, and meet around 10 percent of U.K. energy demand in the 2050s, ultimately reducing the cost of meeting the U.K.’s 2050 GHG emission reduction targets by more than 1 percent of GDP. In the absence of CCS, bioenergy is still a cost-effective means of decarbonization and should play an important role in meeting the 2050 emissions target.”

ETI released a report titled “The Evidence for Deploying Bioenergy with CCS in the U.K.” last month highlighting the importance of combining bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) if the U.K. is to meet its 2050 GHG emission reduction targets cost-effectively.

Thomas further commented on how the value from bioenergy is dependent upon the U.K.’s ability to source and distribute sufficient biomass from sustainable sources, either domestic or imported. “While U.K. sourced biomass offers the greatest energy security and sustainability benefits in the longer-term, sustainably sourced biomass imports will continue to be important,” he said. “To ensure that the U.K. can develop a bioenergy sector that delivers genuine carbon savings, greater understanding is needed of the logistics requirements for both domestic and imported feedstocks, across different future bioenergy scenarios.”