Currently bioenergy / energy-from-waste represents a small component of Australia’s renewable energy mix; however, the Department of Industry and Science Office of the Chief Economist forecasts an average annual growth of 3-5% in bioenergy electricity generation to 20401.
ARENA believes that opportunities do exist for bioenergy / energy-from-waste to provide firm and dispatchable energy (electricity, heat and fuel) in areas that have cost effective access to feedstock, industrial processes or other pathways to address local demand.
How is ARENA involved with bioenergy / energy from waste?
In funding bioenergy/energy-from-waste projects, ARENA strives to improve the long-term cost-competitiveness of the sector.
In addition to projects already funded, ARENA has identified the following funding opportunity areas:
- Municipal solid waste (MSW) for electricity
- Agricultural energy-from-waste
- Advanced biofuels
- Gas displacement (centralised and decentralised)
In recent times energy-from-waste has received increased attention due to challenges some municipal councils are experiencing with managing solid waste streams.
ARENA is cognisant that future energy-from-waste projects can assist in helping to address this issue, which is particularly important for dealing with waste that that could otherwise end up in landfill.
Other benefits include:
- Reduction of greenhouse gases associated with landfill
- Provision of secure and dispatchable energy
- Support of rural economies
- Improvement of air quality (compared to fossil fuel equivalent)
As at June 2018, ARENA has invested $58 million in its bioenergy/energy-from-waste portfolio across 27 projects.
Within this, about $14.5m has been contributed to nine energy-from-waste projects and almost $16m towards two advanced biofuel projects.
These projects span electricity and biogas production, as well as efficient feedstock harvesting technology and projects that aim to capture energy from a range of waste materials including sewage, meat processing leftovers, landfill and organic litter.
- Nine energy-from-waste projects ARENA has already supported (PDF 37KB)
- Full list of bioenergy projects funded by ARENA