Bioenergy markets: Power and heat
Capacity, resources, trendsThe 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 regulationThe 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.
IncentivesA number of national and state-based grants and support services are listed in the Grants and incentives section of this website.
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