Case studies of ARENA’s work in 2017-18 are provided in this section to demonstrate our purpose, performance and impact.
Improving energy productivity
Less than one per cent of Australia’s electricity needs are met by bioenergy, however the CSIRO has found that organic sources could provide as much as 20 per cent of the nation’s electricity supply in the short term.
ARENA has been supporting a range of bioenergy and waste-to-energy projects since its inception, which involve a variety of innovative ways to capture energy from waste materials including sewerage, abattoir waste, landfill and organic litter.
Wood waste from the local timber industry will soon power MSM Milling’s canola processing facility in Manildra, NSW. The makers of premium canola oil and stock feed aim to annually save 2500 kilolitres of LPG by converting their plant to run on biomass. This will allow them to take control of rising energy costs in addition to reducing their emissions.
The company will use wood waste from the nearby cyprus pine industry – branches, offcuts, forest thinnings and sawdust – to fuel its boilers to create heat that will be used throughout the canola processing facility. In addition, the oilseed crushing and processing plant will be run on woodchips and other raw residues.
The biomass fuel switch project is one of the first demonstrations of a large-scale food manufacturing company using biomass for thermal energy to reduce their costs and environmental impact.