The Clean Energy Council and Bioenergy Australia have signed a memorandum of understanding to increase the level of understanding, uptake and engagement in renewable energy generation in Australia.

Bioenergy involves the efficient extraction of sustainable energy from biomass residues, including agricultural, forestry and municipal wastes.

The International Energy Agency’s market analysis and forecast report has identified that bioenergy was the source of half of all renewable energy used globally in 2017 and is forecast to see the biggest growth in renewable consumption between 2018 and 2023.

Typical forms of bioenergy are liquid transport fuels, green gas and electricity and heat.

Research by the CSIRO has found bioenergy could contribute up to 20% of Australia’s electricity generation by 2030, something that CEC chief executive Kane Thornton says should be embraced as the nation looks towards a cleaner future.

“Bioenergy can operate across the entire energy system and supports domestic fuel security, emission reduction and waste minimisation,” Thornton says.

“Bioenergy can operate to support other renewable energy types, and we look forward to driving a collaborative renewable energy sector moving forward.”  

Biofuels have been identified as a key player in the decarbonisation of the transport sector, particularly in heavy road vehicles, aviation and shipping. A recent report by ClimateWorks Australia highlights that mainstream use of biofuels is assumed to begin in 2030, reaching a penetration of 44% of aviation fuel and 25% of shipping fuel by 2040.

Similarly, bioenergy systems are the largest source of existing renewable process heat and are increasingly adopted where a low or zero cost biomass resource is available. In such cases, they are often already cost-competitive with gas or other fossil fuel sources. According to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, meeting up to around 30% of total national heat demand is technically possible.

Bioenergy Australia CEO Shahana McKenzie said the 2019 announcement by Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor for the development of a National Bioenergy Roadmap presents a significant opportunity for the integration of bioenergy and bio products within the renewable energy agenda.

“The Clean Energy Council and Bioenergy Australia, alongside all their members, look forward to a productive working relationship,” she said.