Bioenergy / Energy from wasteProject High-Energy Algal Fuels
This study was undertaken to inform the priorities of the Australian Biofuels Research Institute and inform the development of the Government’s Alternative Transport Fuels Strategy.
Advanced Biofuels (ABF) offer the potential for Australia to build a significant and sustainable new industry which could increase national fuel security, assist in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and stimulate regional development.
The opportunity exists for Australia to capitalise on its comparative advantages and start laying the foundations now for what might be an industry of significant future value and scale, providing a substantial proportion of Australia’s future fuel requirements.
There is mounting urgency around the world to find affordable and sustainable alternatives to non-renewable transport fuels.
If prices for non-renewable fuels continue to rise, and as the cost of ABF production falls, ABF could become cost competitive within a timeframe as close as 5-10 years.
Once cost competitiveness is achieved, ABF are then likely to form a significant part of an alternative fuel solution.
Given Australia’s comparative advantages drawn from its history of expertise in agricultural sciences, its abundance of flat land and sunlight and a climate suitable for growing dedicated energy crops, Australia could become a global leader in ABF.
The development of a large scale ABF industry will, however, require transformative land use change and significant investment.
This Report summarises the findings of a detailed Advanced Biofuels Study, setting out key issues for industry and Government for the establishment of a sustainable ABF industry in Australia over the next 20 years.
It identifies several priority ABF feedstock and conversion technology pathways for Australia, with an emphasis placed on those that produce drop-in fuels, leverage Australia’s comparative advantages and are scalable in the long term.
It also raises a number of early stage challenges that will need to be overcome in establishing a sustainable ABF industry.
This includes outlining an initial supporting role for Government in providing signals and a platform that gives the private sector confidence to invest.
The Report recommends 20 specific actions for Government consideration that will help business establish a sustainable market-led ABF industry.