Leading up to the 2019 Federal Election, the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) is urging major political parties to recognise the significant potential of renewable heat and bioenergy to both reduce energy costs for industry and help meet Australia’s emissions reduction targets.

“Forest product manufacturers are facing challenging conditions through electricity and gas price increases. Greater uptake of renewable heat and bioenergy in Australia’s energy mix would not only reduce our industries’ significant energy costs and increase energy supply security – it can also make a major contribution to Australia’s emissions reduction efforts,” AFPA CEO Mr Ross Hampton said.

“In another Federal Election with a strong focus on climate change policy action, major political parties should recognise renewable heat and bioenergy uniquely provides both renewable and secure baseload energy, which would complement intermittent renewables like wind and solar. It’s disappointing that little attention has so far been paid to renewable heat.”

Bioenergy is a unique renewable that can be used across all three energy sectors (transport, heat and electricity). Under the Kyoto Protocol, bioenergy is regarded as CO2 neutral. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change also defines bioenergy as renewable, if it is produced from biomass that is sustainably managed – as all Australia’s commercial forestry operations are.

“While bioelectricity generated from biomass is recognised as an eligible renewable source under the existing Renewable Energy Target, with the right policy settings and investment support, renewable heat and bioenergy could play a much greater role as a provider of renewable baseload energy in any climate change and energy policy.

“Other industry sectors with renewable heat and bioenergy potential such as agriculture, landfill and waste-to-energy could also contribute to Australia’s secure energy future, while substantially reducing emissions and reusing waste by-products,” Mr Hampton concluded.

Recognition of the significant potential of renewable heat and bioenergy to both reduce energy costs for industry and help meet national emissions reduction targets is further detailed in AFPA’s 10 key policy asks for the 2019 Federal Election.