AMEE Overview


What does AMEE do?

AMEE provides a web API for storing, processing and transacting data and information related to greenhouse gas emissions.

The idea is that you create a front end web page or application which takes data from your user - a client, a part of your business, an individual - and you send that data to AMEE. AMEE serves two main purposes: it stores the data for you and it performs calculations to return the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with that activity. You can then display this information to your user.

For example, a user might tell you that they drive 1000 km in a large, diesel car every month. AMEE would store this information and then return a value telling you that this emits 264.5 kgCO2 per month. More advanced usage might involve specifying the fuel consumption, the model of the car, the style of driving, modeling of the emission control system (catalytic convertor) and profiling changes in usage over time.

Why use AMEE?

The aim of AMEE is to provide a common platform for the aggregation and measurement of all forms of greenhouse gas emissions. Data and methodologies for a huge variety of emissions and sources are available through AMEE, including domestic and commercial heating and appliances, industrial processes, power generation, transport, construction, agriculture and waste. This means that virtually any type of energy consumption or greenhouse gas emitting practice can be modeled in one place.

The data contained in AMEE represents the net result of an enormous effort in research and development to ensure that it is correct and the assumptions behind it have been thought through and documented.

Another reason to use AMEE is that the data will be kept up to date. Data such as gas and electricity prices can change from month to month. Also, the data for consumer goods, such as computers and cars, will change as technologies advance. If you were to hard code such data into your application, you would need to keep track of these changes and update your application regularly. Using AMEE, this will all be taken care of automatically.

A simple example

Burning diesel produces 2.6391 kg CO2 for every litre burned. If 20 litres are burned then 2.6391 x 20 = 52.782 kg CO2 will be emitted.

This very simple example illustrates the three basic components of most emissions calculations:

  • 20 litres - usage information - part of an AMEE profile item.
  • 2.6391 kg CO2/litre - the emission factor - part of an AMEE data item.
  • the calculation - performed by an AMEE algorithm.

The algorithm here is very simple, but most items in AMEE involve much more complex algorithms, such as calculation of great circle distances, route finding across a train network or modeling heat flow within a building.

The AMEE platform not only contains data and calculation methods covering a huge variety of emissions producing activities, but also provides a structure for organizing and storing consumption data. These two components are easily and conveniently brought together enabling the calculation and aggregation of many types greenhouse gas emissions.

Where does the data come from?

AMEE contains data and calculating methodologies from numerous sources including the IPCC, the US Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Information Administration and the UK government agency DEFRA, as well as the World Resources Institute (WRI) Greenhouse Gas Protocol which aggregates data from these and other primary sources. Adherence to the calculating methodologies and established data standards specified in these sources means that AMEE provides support to greenhouse gas emissions reporting protocols such as the WRI Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the Global Reporting Initiative and the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Other data sources are also used within AMEE to provide for more specific requirements. For example, AMEE collects updates on the UK electricity grid fuel-mix every 5 mins from the Balancing Mechanism Reporting System in order to calculate the instantaneous carbon intensity of electricity consumption in the UK. AMEE also contains data on specific types of vehicles, including models of car, train and aircraft, and provides energy consumption data for appliances which can be used as a basis for emissions calculations.

To learn about the structure of data and calculation methodologies in AMEE, visit the Introduction to AMEEdiscover page.