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Scania sees double boost for biofuels direction

Bioenergy Australia award and ARENA roadmap burnish efforts


Alternative propulsion proponent Scania Australia has had a pleasing week with the truckmaker seeing a government effort announced seeking ways to boost biofuels and the company gaining   the 2019 Bioenergy Australia Corporate Leadership Award.

The judges commented that Scania Australia has made significant strides to deliver economically viable, alternative and renewable fuel solutions for the benefits of its customers. 

Scania has signed MOUs with Wilmar Bioethanol Australia, Ecotech Biodiesel, the ENGV Group, Just Biodiesel and Refuelling Solutions, as the first steps in their programme to import, distribute, sell, service and maintain vehicles that run on alternative fuels, or hybrids that run on alternative fuels as well. 

The jury commends Scania’s leadership in Australia and commitment to drive cleaner transport solutions across the board.

“We are very pleased to have been recognised by Bioenergy Australia for our efforts to bring cleaner and renewable fuels to the fore in Australia and will be continuing our efforts in this regard,” Scania Australia sustainable solutions manager Anthony King,

Meanwhile, the federal government looks set to give the broader sector a push, with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to begin work on the development of a roadmap to “identify the role that the bioenergy sector can play in Australia’s energy transition and in helping Australia meet its emission reduction obligations”. 

The move is in response to federal energy minister Angus Taylor’s request to invest in the development of a roadmap for the bioenergy sector that quantifies opportunities where Australia has a competitive advantage to inform future investment and policy decisions.

ARENA says key issues the roadmap will canvas include:

  • the potential for biofuels to decarbonise the industrial and transport sectors, “particularly ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors such as aviation and marine
  • the potential for biofuels to contribute to Australia’s liquid fuel security

  • opportunities to decarbonise the gas network

  • bioenergy opportunities for heat, steam and power

  • quantifying the economic opportunities for Australia, including a focus on regional Australia.

The aim is to expand bioenergy as an energy source in Australia, where it currently contributes up to about four per cent of total energy consumption, as opposed to about seven per cent in other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Read about Scania’s biofuels transport deal with Refuelling Solutions, here

The roadmap will leverage the existing work undertaken in bioenergy supported by ARENA, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Department of the Environment and Energy. 

“Bioenergy and energy from waste technologies are well-developed worldwide, with the International Energy Agency’s forecasted renewables report identifying this area as an ‘overlooked giant’ within the renewables space,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller says.

“There is also significant potential for biofuels to decarbonise the industrial and transport sectors in Australia.

“Much like with hydrogen, we’re hoping that this will lead to further uptake and unlock new opportunities for bioenergy in Australia, and will enable bioenergy to play a considerable role in helping us to reduce emissions while also providing secure, reliable and affordable energy supply.” 

ARENA says it has provided more than $100 million towards bioenergy projects across Australia spanning energy from waste, biogas, biomass and biofuels.

“ARENA’s investment to date encompasses electricity and biogas production, efficient feedstock harvesting technology and projects that aim to capture energy from a range of waste materials,” it adds. 

“The scope of the roadmap will be developed in consultation with key bioenergy industry stakeholders. ARENA will then engage suitably experienced consultants to develop the roadmap.”

A broader industry consultation process will begin early next year. The roadmap will be finalised and presented to Taylor by mid-2020.


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