IDLES Programme Lecture 2021

Making biogas work: a financial perspective

What are the challenges and opportunities of biogas from a financial point of view and how does this compare with other forms of renewable energy? Join Michael Ware, from IDLES partner Green Giraffe, for the 2021 IDLES Programme Lecture delving into the role of biogas in a net-zero future.

The lecture will outline the various pathways of biogas production, summarise the different income streams and describe how biogas projects are financed. Although the general anaerobic digestion process is well-established and provides a valuable waste management solution, the economics of establishing and running a biogas plant are fundamentally different to running other renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar. Risks such as the availability of feedstock, variability in the production process and thus composition of the final output, must be managed in order to make it a viable financial venture. Drawing on his significant experience in renewable energy project financing, Michael will share insights on each of these points as he explains how we can make biogas work. The event will include a Q&A chaired by Professor Richard Green.


Michael Ware joined as a Director at Green Giraffe, a renewable energy financial advisory firm, in 2019. He has been originating and leading a number of deals, in particular in waste-to-energy, anaerobic digestion, solar and storage. For the last 15 years, he was a partner at BDO in London, where he was responsible for the firm’s energy finance team. His team worked with clients to structure energy transactions, build complex financial models, write business cases, present to a network of funders, negotiate contractual terms, manage the due diligence process and raise either project or corporate finance. He has worked on over 100 deals and raised in excess of GBP 3 bn. He managed the sale of several operational solar and wind projects to infrastructure and pension funds and is well versed in the mechanics of the M&A sales process. He graduated as Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountant and holds an MBA from Manchester Business School.

About Energy Futures Lab and IDLES

Energy Futures Lab is one of seven Global Institutes at Imperial College London. The institute was established to address global energy challenges by identifying and leading new opportunities to serve industry, government and society at large through high quality research, evidence and advocacy for positive change. The institute aims to promote energy innovation and advance systemic solutions for a sustainable energy future by bringing together the science, engineering and policy expertise at Imperial and fostering collaboration with a wide variety of external partners.

The Integrated Development of Low-carbon Energy Systems (IDLES) programme comprises six interconnected projects and brings together expertise from seven departments at Imperial to tackle the diverse challenges associated with transitioning to an integrated, low-carbon energy system. At the core of our approach is the development of high temporal and spatial resolution models for a future multi-vector and cross-sectorial energy system.