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Bioenergy Australia makes case for alternative liquid fuel

Industrial and economic gains seen along with emissions reductions


Hard on the heels of a union critique of the nation’s fuel reserves policy, Bioenergy Australia has released a “first state-of-the-nation assessment” of the domestic bioenergy situation – and finds it lagging.

With the exception of Queensland, the report, produced in collaboration with KPMG, sees mostly regional economies missing out on having the potential for a national $3.5-$5 billion investment opportunity, unless the “bioenergy economy” can be kick-started more widely.

 “The report reviews the policies of states and territories in order to share learning and facilitate policy transfer across Australia, with much to be gained through adoption of ‘best practice’ approaches throughout Australia,” Bioenergy Australia CEO Shahana McKenzie says.

“For example, Queensland has adopted a number of successful policies which can be adapted and deployed to drive bioenergy uptake across the country.”

The organisation already has the ear of the federal opposition, with climate and energy spokesman Mark Butler speaking at the at the report launch attended by a range of political and business interests.

“There are huge opportunities for Australia to embrace bioenergy. I welcome this important report from KPMG and look forward to working with Bioenergy Australia in this exciting transition,” Butler says.

Read about the concern that the MUA and others have on fuel reserves, here

The organisation notes that bioenergy is generated from the conversion of solid and liquid biomass products for use as electricity, heat, gas, liquid fuels and bio-based products and delivers 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.

The report points out that virtually all trucks and cars can take biodiesel blended fuel.

“Ethanol lifts the octane of fuel in the same way that cetane is lifted by the use of biodiesel; both are an oxygenate, which reduces carbon monoxide, and also contribute to lowering the sulphur in the fuel simply because it is almost a pure single molecule fuel,” it argues.

“Ethanol blended fuels are easy to incorporate in the supply chain and cost effective to produce. 

“Increasing the use of biofuel by only 10 per cent in petrol and diesel in Australia can reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 8.9 million tonnes of CO2‑eq per year, with subsequent health benefits. 

“A  study by QUT [Queensland University of Technology] identified that the growth of biorefinery  industries in Queensland alone could result in an increase to the Gross State Product of more than A$1.8 billion per year, and the creation of around 6,640 jobs, most of which would be in regional communities.

“Another example of a transport fuel is renewable diesel, which is created by the thermal and hydro-processing of renewable biomass and waste. 

“These fuels must meet Australian Fuel Quality Standards Acts and Regulation. Renewable diesel is considered a drop‑in fuel and requires no blending with traditional diesel.”

The full report can be accessed here.


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