Opportunities for forest industries in bioenergy, but governments need to do more

A new report prepared for Bioenergy Australia shows a lot more can be done by the federal and state governments to encourage development of bioenergy opportunities and to establish them as viable renewable energy alternatives, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton said today.

“Released today, the Bioenergy state of the nation report prepared by KPMG for Bioenergy Australia highlights the important role that forest industries can play in bioenergy production, via utilisation of renewable wood waste and timber residues. However, the report also ranks Australian governments on various indicators, which clearly shows some governments could be doing a lot more to encourage bioenergy development,” Mr Hampton said.

“When you look at international comparisons in the report, the results are a stark. Australia is in the bottom quartile of OECD countries with respect to bioenergy as a total proportion of energy supply. Bioenergy makes up about 4 per cent of total energy consumption in Australia while in the European Union, it’s 10 per cent and much more in Denmark and Finland. Bioenergy is a unique renewable source that can be used across all three energy sectors (transport, heat and electricity) and unlike many alternative renewables, bioenergy can be both dispatchable and deliver baseload power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“The report identifies that at the federal level there doesn’t appear to be any national vision, policy levers or objectives to support bioenergy and the bioeconomy, while supportive policy is inconsistent at the state level.

“Various forest industry businesses are currently producing bioenergy at their facilities but many more are examining how to better utilise renewable wood waste and residues for their own energy purposes and need supportive policy settings.

“I congratulate Bioenergy Australia for shedding a light on the state of these alternative energy sources and policy in Australia and urge further action from the federal and state governments to encourage the development of bioenergy,” Mr Hampton concluded.

For more information, visit the Bioenergy Australia website here.


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