What is bioenergy and energy from waste?
Bioenergy is a form of renewable energy generated from the conversion of biomass into heat, electricity, biogas and liquid fuels. Biomass is organic matter derived from forestry, agriculture or waste streams available on a renewable basis. It can also include combustible components of municipal solid waste.
How is biomass produced?
Biomass can be converted to bioenergy using a range of technologies depending on the type of feedstock (raw material), scale/size of the project and form of energy to be produced. Conversion technologies include combustion, pyrolysis, gasification, transesterification, anaerobic digestion and fermentation, or may be linked to processes such as biorefining.
Some conversion processes also produce byproducts that can be used to make useful materials such as renewable bitumen and even biomass-based concrete. Additional benefits include emissions reduction, waste disposal, providing support for rural economies, and improving air quality.
Explore bioenergy resources
Bioenergy in Australia
Bioenergy has scope to expand as an energy source in Australia, contributing five per cent of Australia’s total clean energy generation compared to seven per cent in other OECD countries.
The Australian Government developed a roadmap to identify the role that the bioenergy sector can play in Australia’s energy transition. Released in 2021, the Bioenergy Roadmap aims to help to inform the next series of investment and policy decisions in the bioenergy sector in Australia.
How are we supporting bioenergy and energy from waste projects?
We support the rapid commercialisation of bioenergy and energy from waste projects.
Recent projects provide important advancements for Australia’s bioenergy and energy from waste sector. The projects will help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill while generating renewable energy and provide a commercial business case for future developments.
Read about the projects
- East Rockingham Waste to Energy
- Kwinana Waste to Energy
- Logan City Biosolids Gasification
- Hazer Commercial Demonstration
We also supporting research to improve the commercial viability of advanced biofuels. In 2021, MicroBioGen developed a strain of yeast that can efficiently and affordably produce a high protein food and low carbon biofuel. This groundbreaking work opens up new possibilities for biofuels as a sustainable energy source and, potentially, significant new export markets for Australia.
What do we look for in projects?
- demonstration of lower cost, increased performance, or advanced operating capability of low emissions, flexible capacity technologies
- projects that demonstrate or address issues with the use of bioenergy and energy from waste in industrial processes
- other high merit and innovative projects.
We share knowledge, insights and data from our projects to help the renewable energy industry and other projects learn from each other’s experiences.
A $30 million funding initiative aims to help Australia understand how it could achieve big cuts in aviation industry emissions and become a significant global supplier of sustainable aviation fuel.
The Malabar Biomethane Injection Plant is turning what Sydney-siders flush away into an energy source that can be used in the home.
From start-up inception in 2012 to the verge of plant operation in 2023, ARENA has supported biomass-to-energy company Renergi along its renewable energy journey.