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CEFC Highlights Bioenergy Opportunities At Conference

A bio-gas plant
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) says Australia has the potential to be a leader in bio-energy as new technologies emerge and FOGO collections expand across the country.

Speaking on the future of bioenergy at the recent Australian Bioenergy Conference in Tasmania, Paul McCartney, CEFC Executive Director – Corporate and Project Finance, said a new CEFC market report had identified the potential for Australia to nearly double its bioenergy and energy from waste capacity in the next five years.

The CEFC identified lower waste and energy costs, energy security in remote areas and reducing dependence on natural gas and diesel as some of the potential benefits for Australian businesses when using bioenergy.

Aiming to support the increase of bioenergy use and facilities in the country, the CEFC recently announced a $100 million commitment to the Australian Bioenergy Fund. The Fund is seeking additional private sector equity to deliver a $200 million-plus boost to bioenergy projects in Australia.

The Australian Bioenergy Fund will invest in a range of technologies o produce energy from areas including anaerobic digestion, landfill gas capture, wood pelletisation and the production of biofuels.

 

In a discussion at the Australian Bioenergy Conference, Mr McCartney said Australia had the potential to be a leader in bioenergy as technology in the sector develops.

“We have identified some 800MW of new generation capacity in bioenergy in the next five years, requiring $3.5 billion to $5 billion in new investment,” he said. “Australia already has some 114 bioenergy and waste from energy plants in operation, with a total of 812 MW of installed capacity. The CEFC cornerstone investment in the new Australian Bioenergy Fund is designed to help unlock important opportunities for bioenergy across the economy.”

The CEFC market report – The Australian bioenergy and energy from waste market – has highlighted the opportunity for Australia to close the gap when it comes to generating electricity from bioenergy sources. While OECD countries source 2.4 per cent of their electricity output from bioenergy, this is just 0.9 per cent for Australia.

Bioenergy projects in Australia are most likely to be plants with less than 10MW capacity. The Australian Bioenergy Fund has been designed to suit similar small-scale anaerobic digestion, through to mid-scale energy from waste plants.

“We see big opportunities in urban waste, food processing and animal waste, and plantation forestry residues,” Mr McCartney added. “We’re working with business, government and industry to turn these opportunities into working projects.”

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