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Setting the path for bioenergy as a future energy source

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The Australian Government will examine how Australia can build its bioenergy sector to become an increased source of clean energy and potential economic and job creation opportunities.

At the request of the Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has started to develop a Bioenergy Roadmap and now calls for public submissions on how Australia can build its bioenergy sector and strengthen the country’s energy security.

Bioenergy uses organic and renewable materials to produce a range of energy outputs including heat, electricity, gas and liquid fuels.

Australia has a unique opportunity to grow bioenergy which currently accounts for around four per cent of Australia’s current energy mix compared to around seven per cent in some other OECD countries.

The Bioenergy Roadmap will focus on economic opportunities, including a focus on regional Australia, and the potential for biofuels to help decarbonise the industrial and transport sectors, and strengthen Australia’s liquid fuel security.

The Bioenergy Roadmap will help to inform investment and policy decisions in the bioenergy sector. This work will form an important input into the Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap, which will open soon for consultation.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said Australia had several natural advantages for bioenergy, such as a large agricultural sector and a vibrant clean energy industry.

“Bioenergy has the potential to grow as a future energy source in Australia, providing dispatchable energy while at the same time improving our fuel security and playing a role in reducing emissions,” Minister Taylor said.

“With the appropriate settings and pathways, the bioenergy sector can provide many benefits for Australia such as safeguarding soil and water quality and making productive use of waste resources. Significantly, a strong bioenergy industry can also help to support our local farmers and bring more economic growth for regional areas.”

Bioenergy is an important part of the waste cycle, with waste products that are usually disposed instead being utilised and made into high-value energy. This includes waste products from the council, agricultural, industry and forestry sectors. Commonly used sources include plastics, sugar cane waste, wood, wastewater and animal waste.

The Bioenergy Roadmap is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020.

The Government, through ARENA, has already provided more than $118 million to help fund Australian bioenergy projects from areas such as waste, biogas, biomass and biofuels.

More information on how to contribute to the roadmap is available on the ARENA website.

Source: Australian Government

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