Satellite data certifies biomass

The service will measure the carbon impact of producing biomass from forests.

BIOMASS and bioenergy firms required to certify the origin and sustainability of wood biomass will soon have access to more accurate data to support certification, according to UK company Rezatec, a provider of remote-sensing based environmental data products.

Rezatec has developed a data service that it says extracts carbon estimates from high-resolution satellite imagery, or Earth Observation (EO) data. This service is designed to accurately measure the carbon impact of producing biomass from forests over extended periods of time.
A business-led consortium involving Rezatec, Drax, E4tech (project lead), and the University of Edinburgh has embarked on a nine-month project to help develop a service that will improve the commercial development of the biomass/energy industry, allowing businesses to prove compliance with sustainability criteria.
The project will assess the environmental impact of Drax’s wood pellet production from forest feedstock in North America. Using Rezatec’s methodology, optical, RADAR and LiDAR data will be linked with a dynamic tree growth model to help determine forestry carbon estimates.
Patrick Newton, CEO for Rezatec commented: “This pioneering project has the potential to change the future of the biomass and bioenergy industries by overcoming the challenges of obtaining cost-effective and accurate datasets to support sustainable obligations linked to forest biomass feedstock.”
“Working with businesses such as Drax allows us to help verify its carbon impact on the environment of biomass extraction and the positive work it is undertaking to ensure compliance. This project can be used as a blueprint for sustainable biomass production around the world,” he said.