Bioenergy is coming of age
Connecting with new green energy solutions
IN A landscape rich in space and agricultural land, biofuels present enormous potential in Australia’s future energy mix.
Ethanol is one of the best recognised biofuel products, but in recent years there have been exciting developments around a whole range of technologies being converted to real-world projects.
From biomass boilers in sugar and wheat processing facilities, to methane extractors, and biofuel production from green and even “humanure” waste streams, these projects are being enacted by private enterprises, either to make use of internal waste resources, or by sourcing waste streams from other industries.
Bioenergy Australia chief executive Shahana McKenzie said there were a number of recent project announcements that exemplified this entrepreneurial approach.
“As an example, some projects that have been recently announced are the Southern Meats abattoir in country NSW, which is an anaerobic digestion project,” Ms McKenzie said.
“There is an anaerobic digester on the waste water that comes out of the abattoir. It then captures the methane gas, which is being used to generate electricity and it results in a 50 per cent reduction of energy costs for that company.”
The technology provider for that project, ReNu Energy is a Bioenergy Australia member.
Bioenergy Australia is a non-profit industry association with membership comprised of government bodies, allied industry associations and corporates, including larger biofuel producers, technology providers, and end users such as air and road transport companies.
“Our role as the industry body is for us to be exposing the opportunities to all of those target audiences who could be utilising bioenergy solutions on their own facilities, and to facilitate introductions to the technology providers and project developers available,” Ms McKenzie.
“The people who come in and will do the conversion, or establish the infrastructure in order to deliver the project.
“They do that in a whole raft of different ways in terms of the financing models that are available for that, but also in terms of the ongoing maintenance as well.”
BRILLIANT BIOFUEL: The Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant in Gladstone is an example of the growing number of progressive biofuel projects. PHOTO: PAUL BRAVEN