The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has congratulated the Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie for demanding that any deal on the Renewable Energy Target include the re-introduction of renewable energy certificates for wood waste offcuts which are left over after native forest harvesting or processing operations.
Mr Ross Hampton, AFPA Chief Executive Officer said, “This is common sense policy leadership from Senator Lambie. All over the world bioenergy is considered a vital part of the renewable energy mix. In Denmark for example – considered by many environmental groups to be the leading nation in terms of climate change policy action – bioenergy accounts for some 12% of energy use. In terms of the renewable energy mix in that country it is a staggering 75%! When it comes to implementing strong policies to try to drive national greenhouse gas emission profiles lower, the northern European countries are grabbing bioenergy with both hands. In Finland bioenergy is 14% of the energy mix. In Norway it is 6%, as it is in Germany. Here in Australia our bioenergy use for electricity is a pathetic 1%. This is largely due to our failure to encourage the use of residues from forestry operations in our native forestry estates because of a ban. This ban was reimposed by the Greens, supported by the Australian Labor Party, in the last Parliament. The 120,000 Australians who work in our forest and forest product industries around Australia look to this Parliament to correct this anomaly.”
About Biomass: Sustainably managed harvesting and processing operations in Australia generate mountains of offcuts and by products every year. The biomaterials accumulate into multi-storey piles and rot away in the forest or provide mountains of kindling for mega bushfires. With the incentive of renewable energy certificates many regional forest based enterprises would convert coal or gas fired power and heating facilities to use the wood waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The industry estimates that more than 5% of Australia’s renewable energy target could be achieved by utilising the current residues (now treated only as waste) without touching a single additional tree. The large scale commercial forest operators who are members of the Australian Forest Products Association are 100% environmentally certified by either FSC or PEFC (AFS) and plant more than 60 million trees each year.