BIOmass based Climate Change
MITigation through Renewable Energy Systems

Software Tools

After the Methodology, System Boundaries, and Data have been determined, the user can utilize a Software Tool to run calculations that provide various possible Scenarios of Energy and GHG Balances from different Bioenergy and Fossil Reference Systems.
Below, the BIOMITRE software tool is introduced and the user is provided instruction on how to download the �Excel� based tool. In addition, other examples of internationally recognized software tools are introduced below for your reference.

I. The BIOMITRE Software Tool

The aim of BIOMITRE is to develop a standard, user-friendly software tool that can be used to analyse GHG balances and Cost-effectiveness of different biomass energy technologies.

Software Tool Components

There are 3 major components to the software tool. These are The development of the tool was carried out by Utrecht University in Work Package 5. Much of the data behind the BIOMITRE GHG and Cost Assessment tool was generated from several joint case studies with members of IEA Bioenergy Task 38. It is envisaged that the tool will be of assistance particularly to policy and energy-system planners.

A general short 4-page introduction to the initial development of the BIOMITRE GHG and Cost Assessment tool can be found at BIOMITRE Tool Development (PDF).

Click Here to Download the BIOMITRE Software Tool.

II. Simplified Online Fuel Chains

The objective is to provide several very simple online GHG balance Fuel Chains that have default values for the basic components of a Bioenergy Fuel Chain. The user can easily compare simplified fuel chains, such as Biodiesel vs. Diesel /or/ Bioenergy CHP vs. Fossil CHP. These tools are web-based, requiring no downloading and user manuals.
See examples:

III. Example of Greenhouse Gas Modeling Tools

Corporate Greenhouse Gas Inventory:
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative is a broad international coalition of businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government and inter-governmental organizations. It operates under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI). The objective is to develop internationally accepted accounting and reporting standards for GHG emissions and promotes their use in companies and other organizations. The GHG Protocol Initiative also provides practical guidelines to help companies manage their GHG emissions.

The GHG Protocol Initiative consists of two modules:

Household/Personal Greenhouse Gas Emission Estimation:
The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Calculator is a software tool that allows you to estimate your personal CO2 emissions offers hints and tips to reduce emissions shows specific reductions achieved for different steps.

The SafeClimate Carbon Footprint Calculator is a tool developed by the World Resources institute and allows you to determine carbon dioxide emissions from major sources: home energy consumption and transportation by car and plane.

The Climate Change Calculator was developed by American Forests and calculates tons of carbon dioxide emitted by your household this year, and number of trees that would need to be planted to offset those emissions.

IV. Additional Software Tools

Additional LCA Tools and GHG Inventory Tools are listed here:

Forest, Land-Use Tools
Energy and GHG
Analysis Tools
(LCA, etc.)

Corporate GHG
Inventory Tools


FAIR 2.0



WRI Project Protocol





Boustead Model 5.0




Details of Additional LCA Tools:

FAIR 2.0: (Climate, Emissions Allocation, Costs MODEL)
  • Evaluation of the Kyoto Protocol in terms of environmental effectiveness and economic costs
  • Support of the dialogue between scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders.
Submodels and datasets of FAIR
The FAIR model consists of three linked models:
  • A climate model: to calculate the climate impacts of global emission profiles and to determine the global emission reduction objective, based on the difference between the global baseline emissions scenario and emission profile
  • An emissions allocation model: to calculate the regional emission targets for different climate regimes for future commitments within the context of this global reduction objective
  • A costs model: to calculate the abatement costs for each region using these emissions targets of the regimes and to distribute the global emission reduction objective over the different regions, gases and sectors following a least-cost approach, making use of the flexible Kyoto mechanisms

RETScreen (Renewable Energy Technology Project Analysis)

The Government of Canada's RETScreen International Clean Energy Project Analysis Software is a unique decision support tool developed with the contribution of numerous experts from government, industry, and academia.
The Software, provided free-of-charge, can be used world-wide to evaluate the energy production, life-cycle costs and greenhouse gas emissions reductions for various types of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies (RETs).

To download the free software and other related tools please visit the RETScreen Website at:

Natural Resources Canada's CETC-Varennes, along with the World Bank's Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF) and the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), are co-operating to develop and incorporate an improved greenhouse gas emissions baseline tool into the RETScreen International Clean Energy Project Analysis Software. This inclusion will enable RETScreen users to better estimate the potential of carbon finance for their projects.
RETScreen International - Version 3.0 upgrades include a metric/imperial unit switch; updated product data; an enhanced GHG model to account for the emerging rules under the Kyoto Protocol; and a new Sensitivity & Risk Analysis worksheet. The Wind Energy and Small Hydro Project Models are now available, with the other existing technology models to be upgraded.
RETScreen now has more than 53,000 software useres in 205 countries around the world and is growing at 250 new users every week.
To download the software, and other related tools, visit

Ecoinvent: The Swiss Ecoinvent-database ( with more than 2500 processes (also many on bioenergy systems) can also be imported. The ecoinvent data contains international industrial life cycle inventory data on energy supply, resource extraction, material supply, chemicals, metals, agriculture, waste management services, and transport services.

KCL Eco: was developed in Finland (KCL, Espoo) to evaluate environmental products and services. �KCL EcoData� is a continuously updated LCI database and is primarily intended for life-cycle inventory calculations related to forest products. It contains nearly 300 data modules covering e.g. energy production, pulp and paper chemicals, wood growth and harvesting operations for spruce, pine and birch, pulp, paper and board mills. See for more details. This tool includes an uncertainty analysis, but no cost parameters.

NREL�s: NREL and its partners created the U.S. Life-Cycle Inventory (LCI) Database to help life-cycle assessment (LCA) experts answer their questions about environmental impact ( database provides a cradle-to-grave accounting of the energy and material flows into and out of the environment that are associated with producing a material, component, or assembly. The U.S. Life-Cycle Inventory (LCI) Database is a publicly available database ( that allows users to objectively review and compare analysis results that are based on similar data collection and analysis methods.

SimaPro: (currently sold in version 5.1 by Pr� Consultants, Amersfoort, NL, is a computerized LCA-tool, to collect, analyze and monitor environmental information for products and services, with integrated databases and impact assessment procedures (Goedkoop and Oele 2002). Each step is clear and the process tree can be used to display results, showing a high degree of transparency, since calculations are shown alongside each process box. It is possible to view parts of the life cycle at different scales, and to display their contributions to the total score. Definition of functional units is incorporated, as is sensitivity analysis. SimaPro has no function for calculations of costs. Transparency is somewhat reduced in SimaPro as algorithms are not immediately obvious in inventory results compilation, and incorporation of allocation and reference system is not clear.

Umberto: developed in Germany (IFU Hamburg and IFEU Heidelberg), allows the user to evaluate material and energy flows for products. To facilitate this assessment, Umberto provides a module library that contains ex-tensive data sets on numerous generic upstream and downstream processes (including ecoinvent data). This data considers all relevant flows and enables Umberto to provide visualization of the entire process � from raw material extraction to waste disposal. This can be used to analyze various scenarios and identify the optimal and most ecologically sensible production process. See for more information.

Boustead Model 5.0: The software tool is provided by the Boustead Consulting Ltd. (, grew out of the Boustead & Hancock Partnership, which started working in life-cycle analysis in 1972. The Boustead Model is a computer modelling tool for life cycle inventory calculations. It is both extremely simple to operate and a remarkably powerful tool, capable of analysing highly complex systems without resorting to approximations or simplifications which may otherwise introduce inaccuracies (especially when dealing with non-linear systems). The key to this combination of power and simplicity is the unit operation. A unit operation is defined as a process which produces a single product. The database ( within the model holds information on a large number of unit operations. In the supplied databases there are nearly 13 000 individual unit operations, covering a vast number of materials processing and fuel production processes.

Team: TEAMTM is Ecobilan 's powerful and flexible Life Cycle Assessment software ( It allows the user to build and use a large database and to model any system representing the operations associated with products, processes and activities. This software enables to describe any industrial system and to calculate the associated life cycle inventories and potential environmental impacts according to the ISO 14040 series of standards.

GaBi: The German LCA-software GaBi (developed by the Department of Life Cycle Engineering of the Chair of Building Physics at the University of Stuttgart in cooperation with PE International GmbH, is a tool to address the need for sustainability data administration and evaluation on the organisation, facility, process or product life cycle level. It provides solutions for the assessment of costs, environmental (e.g. greenhouse gases), social and technical criteria, as well as for the optimization of processes and sensitivity analysis. The version GaBi 4 Professional includes approx. 650 sets of data. There are several extension databases available, i.e. on �Renewable Raw Materials�, which includes more than 100 agricultural processes (e.g. fertilizers & pesticides, agricultural equipment, industrial intermediate products, different crops like corn, wheat, hemp, flax, rape seat, soybean) and allows for calculating e.g. biofuels. The Swiss Ecoinvent-database can also be imported.

CAMSAT (Carbon Management Self-Assessment Tool)
CAMSAT provides a simple means of assessing the quality of a company's internal system for responding to climate change. The tool consists of a series of 23 multiple-choice questions, the result of which is one overall score and a synopsis of suggestions for ways in which carbon management can be improved in relation to the risks and opportunities identified.

CAMSAT is applicable to all companies with an interest in maintaining or strenghtening their environmental reputations and/or those whose business may be affected by policies intended to reduce human induced climate change. The tool will be of direct relevance to companies within the following groups:

  • UN Global Compact
  • FTSE4Good
  • Dow Jones Sustainability Index
  • WBCSD Members
  • Equator Group

TimberCAM, a new carbon accounting model that tracks the fate of carbon in wood products, from harvest to disposal. It was designed to facilitate the modelling of the effect on carbon storage of different forest harvesting scenarios for arange of different wood products.

TimberCAM is avaliable free of charge for research purposes only and can be downloaded from the following link:

Further Details

CAMFor is a carbon accounting model for forests, developed by the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO). It has been created to perform carbon accounting both at stand (or project) level and at estate (or landscape) scale. CAMFor finds much of its origin in the CO2 Fix model, described by Moran and Goldwick (1990).

The carbon pools of concern within CAMFor are: above-ground and below-ground biomass; soil carbon; forest-floor debris, and wood products,as well as other concerns.

Further Details

The Model GORCAM (Graz / Oak Ridge Carbon Accounting Model) is an Excel spreadsheet model that has been developed to calculate the net fluxes of carbon to and from the atmosphere associated with land use, land-use change, bioenergy and forestry projects.

Further Details
CBM-CFS (Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector)
The Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector (CBM-CFS2) is a modelling framework for estimating changes in the carbon pools and fluxes in forest ecosystems. A companion model (CBM-FPS) for the Forest Product Sector accounts for the fate of carbon in harvested materials as well as the use and production of energy within the sector.

Further Details

Harvested Wood Products (HWP)
The HWP model integrates basically the carbon (C) stocks of harvested wood products (HWP) in use and in solid waste disposal sites (SWDS) of a given country.
The basic input flows of the model are the consumption rates of solid wood products (= Sawn wood + Wood based panels) and paper products (= Paper + Paperboard). These source data for different countries are browsed from the FAOSTAT forestry on-line data base. More information on the model you find under "Instructions and Definitions" in the Excel spreadsheet.

For more information contact Kim Pingoud ([email protected]).

is a gap-type model for simulating carbon flows and stocks in forests. In a separate wood product model harvested timber is processed into products and carbon bound in products is followed until the products are removed from use and carbon is released back into the atmosphere. The bookkeeping module keeps track of the carbon cycle between the atmosphere, forests and wood products.

For more information contact Timo Karjalainen ([email protected]).

CO2FIX (Netherlands/Finland)

Overview of model
CO2fix is a tool which quantifies the C stocks and fluxes in the forest (whole tree), soil organic matter compartment and the resulting wood products. It was originally designed for even aged monospecies stands in the Netherlands (Mohren and Klein Goldewijk 1990a), but has also been used for a wide variety of (mostly even aged) forest types from all over the world, including some selective logging systems (Nabuurs and Mohren 1993). The latter results have been used in the IPCC 1995 climate change assessment (Brown et al. 1996).
The software is public domain (i.e., free of charge). Further details of the model and project can be found at

Further Details

REFUGE2 ( REduction of FUture Greenhouse gas Emissions)
The model has been developed to calculate additional concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to given emission histories or scenarios and consequent radiative forcing. National or global emissions can be assessed, e.g. contributions of Annex I and developing countries can be studied. The updated model version REFUGE2 has been modified to include the scientific findings of IPCC 2001 about properties of greenhouse gases.

For more information contact Riitta Korhonen([email protected]).

Further Details

Forest Research has added a new component, the CARBON model, to the stand management modelling system STANDPAK. This allows forest managers and investors to run various silvicultural regimes and identify the implications in terms of carbon contained in the stem, crown, forest floor, and roots. Outputs of this system are used in conjunction with the FOLPI estate model to enable investigation of carbon for individual forests, regions or the entire plantation estate in the country.

For more information see Standpak and modules

The Model ERGO has been developed for estimating energy and emissions budgets of bioenergy systems. ERGO was originally developed in the early 1990's with the primary aim of estimating energy and carbon budgets of bioenergy production from short rotation coppice tree systems. An important secondary objective was to provide a tool that could be used to compare different systems of bioenergy production directly, consistently and fairly.

Further Details

GEMIS (Germany)
GEMIS (Global Emission Model for Integrated Systems) is a computerized life-cycle analysis model, LCA database, and cost-emission analysis system. It offers environmental and cost data for energy, material, and transport systems, including their life-cycles. The environmental data cover air emissions, greenhouse gases, liquid effluents, solid wastes, and land-use. The cost data concern investment, fixed annual, and variable cost, as well as externality factors for air emissions, and GHG.

Further Details

The software is public domain (i.e., free of charge), and updated regularly. More information can be found on the GEMIS websites
GAVE � CO2 tool
the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions from the production of electricity, heat and transportation biofuels from biomass. The GHGs accounted for are CO2, CH4 and N2O. Emissions over the entire bioenergy chain (production, transport and conversion from biomass) and from direct land use change are included in the calculation. The CO2 tool consists of two sections: a technical specification and software. The technical specification consists of a description of the method options available and the production chains, including values for the related parameters. The software enables users to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions based on this information.

The Biofuels CO2 calculator includes direct land use change (indirect not yet, perhaps later on basis of so-called Risk Adder, as developped by OEKO-Insitute/IFEU ).
(Excel-Sheet 1.9MB)

Interesting document on the methodology (one co-author is Veronika Dornberg, she participated in some of our T38 Meetings, and it was planned that she will become NL Task Leader) with special information on Task38 methodologies (see page 16).
(PDF Document 300kB)