The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) rolled out a roadmap of developing bioenergy over the next decade, with an investment of AUS33.5m (USD24.2m) from the Australian government, as reported by Power Engineering International on November 23. Based on the roadmap, the government would guide the private and public sectors to decide policies and invest in the bioenergy industry. ARENA stated that the bioenergy industry could contribute as much as USD7.2bn to Australia’s economy per year, create 26,200 new jobs, cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 9%, and divert an additional 6% of landfills waste.
The roadmap came after ARENA invested more than USD94.7m over the past eight years into bioelectricity and biogas production, biofuels, efficient feedstock harvesting technology, and projects aiming to generate energy from waste materials. As an alternative to traditional fuels, bioenergy could reduce emissions in hard-to-abate industries including heat generation, aviation and marine fuels, and renewable gas. Nevertheless, the production capacity share of bioenergy is minor in the country. In 2020, bioenergy only accounted for 5% of Australia’s renewable energy output with a 50% consumption proportion. According to ARENA, bioenergy has the potential to provide up to 20% of the country’s total consumption by the 2050s, compared to the current 3%. At the recent COP26 summit, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison committed to getting his country to net zero emissions by 2050.