The Western Australian Government will invest a $2 million grant from the Collie Futures Industry Development Fund to secure a $9.4 million waste recycling plant for the state’s Collie region.
On behalf of the Federal Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is seeking input from stakeholders in Australia’s bioenergy sector to underpin the development of the Bioenergy Roadmap.
In 2019, ARENA’s Board agreed to a request from Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor to invest in the development of the roadmap and identify the role the bioenergy sector can play in Australia’s energy transition, according to an ARENA statement.
“The Bioenergy Roadmap will help to inform the next series of investment and policy decisions in the bioenergy sector in Australia,” the statement reads.
“It will be an important input into the Australian Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap, and will potentially help us capitalise on opportunities to enhance Australia’s energy security and further reduce our emissions.”
Key focus areas will include: the potential for biofuels to decarbonise the industrial and transport sectors and contribute more broadly to Australia’s liquid fuel security, identifying economic or regulatory impediments to future growth and assessing where Australia has a competitive advantage.
ARENA has appointed a consortium of ENEA Consulting and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu to assist in delivering the roadmap.
The consortium will canvas views from a wide range of stakeholders through a series of workshops, direct interviews and an open submission process.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the roadmap is expected to provide clear findings for industry and government to drive outcomes for the development of Australia’s bioenergy industry.
“The development of the Bioenergy Roadmap presents an opportunity to allow industry leaders, researchers and the public to provide insight into the current state of bioenergy in Australia and how best we can grow the sector in the future,” he said.
A final report will be provided to Minister Taylor later this year.
Grants worth $750,000 are now available to support bioenergy infrastructure projects, as part of Sustainability Victoria’s Bioenergy Infrastructure Fund.
The Bioenergy Infrastructure Fund is open to industry, social enterprises, community groups and government entities working on bioenergy technology that will increase sustainable energy production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Sustainability Victoria Interim CEO Carl Muller said the grants are aimed at projects that will boost the collection and reuse of organics across the state.
“Victoria’s commercial and industrial sector generates more than 900,000 tonnes of organic waste every year, with over a quarter of that being food, and around ten per cent is recovered,” Mr Muller said.
“There is great potential for increased recovery of organics as a valuable fuel source, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Previously funded projects include the Western Region Water Corporation, which received $802,784 to collect food waste and generate energy, and the East Gippsland Region Water Corporation, which received $209,765 to enhance an existing bio-digester to process septic tank waste, food waste, fats, oils and greases.
“Bioenergy can play an important role in the mix of renewable energy, supporting not only our transition towards a renewable energy generation network but also a circular economy,” Mr Muller said.
Proposals are open for bioenergy infrastructure or feasibility and technical studies.
Grant applications close 28 October 2019.
Australia stands on the precipice of a significant bioenergy economy, according to a new report launched this week.
Future energy organisation, Bioenergy Australia, has released the first Bioenergy State of the Nation Report in Canberra.
According to the report a significant bioenergy opportunity awaited Australia in which up to $5 billion in potential investments could be sought across regional areas and Queensland was leading the way.
The report from KPMG commissioned by Bioenergy Australia helped to outline criteria for launching a sizeable bioenergy economy.
Speaking at Parliament House to launch the report, Bioenergy Australia CEO Shahana McKenzie said there was much to be gained through the adoption of best practice approaches throughout Australia in light of reviews the report makes of state and territory policies to facilitate policy transfer and learning.
“Queensland has already adopted a number of successful policies which can be adapted and deployed to drive bioenergy uptake across the country,” she said.
Bioenergy is said by advocates to deliver a range of benefits such as employment and economic development of rural/agricultural communities, energy security, utilisation of waste streams and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Report assessments were based on bioenergy performance measured against five evaluation criteria: policy development and effectiveness, bioenergy project development, technology and feedstock, sustainability guidance, advocacy and education.
“Queensland is driving the bioenergy agenda on a number of fronts and should be commended for the incredible work happening across the state,” Ms McKenzie said.
“They have a government who recognises bioenergy as a priority industry, actively rolling out new projects through the delivery of the Biofutures Roadmap and Biofutures Program,” she said.
“There is no shortage of viable options we can implement to drive us forward, and we hope the Bioenergy Australia State of the Nation Report can be this force for change in the sector so Australia can leverage the wide-ranging potential benefits of a bio-economy.”
Byron Shire Council, NSW, has opened an expression of interest for the supply of commercial organic waste to the proposed Bioenergy Plant in Byron Bay.
The technology involved in the waste to energy plant is able to receive more than what the Byron Shire Council already collects, meaning more can be contributed from additional sources.
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Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said they’re putting out the call to local business and industry to supply commercial food waste and commercial fats, oils and greases as feedstock for the bioenergy plant.
“This is a huge win for our community because it will enable businesses to divert large quantities of commercial food waste from landfill to a Council owned and operated 400-kilowatt bioenergy plant to power our Sewage Treatment Plants,” Cr Richardson said.
“It is the start of us creating our own clean and renewable energy here in the Byron Shire and I strongly encourage our business community to get on board this ground-breaking initiative.
“Our intention from the start was to create a local and scalable bioenergy solution and it is very exciting to be at the stage where we are here inviting the business community to the table,” he said.
It is proposed that the new Bioenergy plant will be located at the Byron Sewer Treatment Plant sit on Wallum Road, Byron Bay.
The Bioenergy plant will help Council reach its zero emissions target by 2025 and make some serious reductions to our carbon footprint,” Cr Richardson said.
It is expected the plant will be commissioned and operational by December 2020.
A Ballarat social enterprise has begun using waste timber that would have been stockpiled or landfilled to cut down on its energy bills.
The project is the first being developed through the Ballarat Community Power Hub, a $900,000 program run by Sustainability Victoria.
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The Community Power Hubs program is being trialled for two years in the Ballarat, Bendigo and Latrobe regions to help communities make the transition to community-owned renewable energy systems.
Sustainability Victoria acting CEO Jonathan Leake said the Ballarat Community Power Hub has provided $6500 and considerable volunteer hours to help McCallum Disability Services access a new biomass boiler.
“A biomass system would reduce energy costs by $100,000 a year and be paid for in seven years,” he said.
“The 2000kw system will be powered by locally-sourced timber waste, operate well-under Environment Protection Authority emissions requirements and produce relatively little ash.”
Greenhouse gas emissions of up to 560 tonnes could be achieved if all natural gas is replaced.
“Importantly, reduced energy costs will allow for the expansion of services to provide additional employment for people with disabilities,” Mr Leake said.
The program is contributing to the Victorian Government’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and having 40 per cent of the state’s energy needs coming from renewable energy by 2025.
14-16 November 2016
Bringing together professionals and experts in the bioenergy sector, the conference program will cover policies and initiatives, projects, case studies and emerging opportunities in this space.