Markets: Bioenergy markets in Australia: Bioenergy markets: Power and heat
In 2011–12, electricity generation using bioenergy in Australia represented around 0.9% of total electricity generation, according to the Australian Energy Resource Assessment (2nd Edition published in 2014).

Capacity, resources, trends

The Australian Energy Resource Assessment (2nd Edition published in 2014) dedicates Chapter 12 to bioenergy – the resources and the market. Jointly undertaken by Geoscience Australia and the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, it describes the bioenergy resources used for generating electricity and heat, and identifies facilities.

It also has statistics on the amount of electricity generated using bioenergy, and associated trends.

Policies and regulation

The Australian Government has set a national Renewable Energy Target (RET) to be achieved by 2020. Initially, the target was for 20% of Australia’s electricity to be sourced from renewable energy sources by 2020. In August 2015, after a review of the RET, the target for large-scale generation was reduced from the previously legislated 41,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) to 33,000 GWh.

The Renewable Energy Target scheme is the primary mechanism for achieving this target.

Under the RET scheme, you can earn renewable energy certificates for generating 1 MWh of compliant renewable energy. The RET requires liable entities (energy retailers and large energy users) to purchase a proportion of their energy requirements from renewable energy sources.

The heat component of industrial cogeneration (such as alongside sugar mills) and dedicated industrial thermal energy are not supported by the RET scheme.

Nevertheless, a range of thermal energy projects have proceeded, generally using process wastes such as sawdust at sawmills. Besides industrial heat applications using biomass, Australia uses 4–6 million tonnes of firewood for heating space and water.

More information about the RET,including its benefits for Australia, are available from The Clean Energy Council.


A number of national and state-based grants and support services are listed in the Grants and incentives section of this website.


Giles Perryman

Refgas Australia

Dunsborough, WA. 6281,
Phone: 0447 393 363
Glen Conway

Principle Engineer - Renewable Energy at GHD

Level 11 200 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW 2500 Australia
Phone: 0419 908 749
Carlo Minini


49 Dove Street, Cremone, Victoria 3121
Quantum Power

Quantum Power

Phone: Ph: +61 7 3721 7588 | Fax: +61 7 3721 7599 | Mob: +61 405 412 078


, Toowong, Brisbane Queensland 4066
Phone: +61 (0) 407 823 161
Col Stucley


Suite 5, 651 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills, Victoria 3127
Phone: +61 (03) 9895 1250
David Coote

University of Melbourne

Parkville, Vic 3010
Phone: 0419 509 822
Mohammad Reza Ghaffariyan

Forest Industries Research Centre (FIRC) University of the Sunshine Coast

Sippy Downs, Qld 4556
Phone: 07 5456 5447
John Meadows

Forest Industries Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast

Sippy Downs, Qld 4556
Phone: 0437 536 865