Bioenergy and energy from waste
Biogas Opportunities for Australia is a report outlining the opportunity for development of a biogas industry, as well as identifying the barriers and challenges currently presented.
Biogas is a renewable, reliable and local source of energy. The biogas industry provides an alternative route for waste treatment while contributing to the development of local economies.
The Australian biogas industry is emerging. In 2016-17, electricity generation from biogas was about 1,200 GWh1 (4,320 TJ), or 0.5 per cent of the national electricity generation Bib.1.
In 2017, there were 242 biogas plants in the country, half of which were landfills collecting landfill gas Bib.2. Roughly half of this landfill gas was not used as an energy source and was fared.
The total estimated biogas potential in Australia is 103 TWh (371 PJ)2 Bib.3, which is comparable with current biogas production in Germany. Australia’s biogas potential is equivalent to almost 9 per cent of Australia’s total energy consumption of 4,247 PJ in 2016-2017 Bib.1. Considering the current average size of biogas units in Australia, this could represent up to 90,000 biogas units.
Moreover, the investment opportunity for new bioenergy and energy from waste projects is estimated at $A3.5 to 5.0 billion, with the potential to avoid up to 9 million tonnes of CO2e emissions each year Bib.4. As well as biogas projects, this investment opportunity includes other waste to energy technologies such as direct combustion of waste (biomass combustion or waste incineration).
In Australia, however, there are several barriers that need to be overcome in order to maximise the sector’s potential. In this context, Bioenergy Australia commissioned ENEA Consulting to prepare this report to examine the benefits of biogas and the hurdles currently faced by the industry. The report also includes recommendations to advance Australia’s biogas sector.
This report was made possible by the support and partnership of Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Energy Networks Australia and International Energy Agency’s Bioenergy Task 37: Energy from Biogas.