The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the latest statement by the Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Richard Di Natale, regarding forest industry biomass as a clean, green energy source.
Speaking at a community consultation forum in Morwell Victoria yesterday, Senator Di Natale said the Australian Greens’ Renew Australia plan “…. means thousands of jobs for those communities that generate power from wind, solar thermal, rooftop solar, as well as geothermal, biomass and hydro energy.”
AFPA Chief Executive Officer Mr Ross Hampton said, “It is heartening that the Australian Greens are going into this year’s federal election with a clear policy of support for renewable energy sourced from sustainable forestry residues. I am also pleased that Senator Di Natale rightly makes no distinction between harvesting and processing offcuts and residues. The Greens policy paper Renew Australia identifies that biomass energy could play a growing role in a national energy mix more focused on renewables. The forest industry agrees.”
“Globally, biomass is well accepted as one of the mainstream renewables. In parts of Europe it accounts for a large percentage of the renewable energy mix. In Denmark, for example, bioenergy accounts for some 12% of energy use. In terms of the renewable energy mix in that country it is a staggering 75%! In Finland bioenergy is 14% of the energy mix. In Norway it is 6%, as it is in Germany. In Australia it is still less than 1%. As the world’s seventh most forested country, where we replant or resow after we harvest, we can do much better.”
“I encourage the Australian Greens to also now reconsider their resistance to natural regrowing forestry in this country and the use of the biomass which is produced by harvesting and sawmilling operations in those forests. If biomass from trees which are planted in straight lines is acceptable then surely biomass from other trees which have also been sown for harvest but not in straight lines should also be acceptable?”