Markets: Bioenergy production

How much bioenergy is produced in Australia?

The report, Energy in Australia 2013, was published by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics in May 2013. It describes energy in Australia, from production to consumption.

The section on clean energy includes bioenergy, and covers production, capacity and potential.

According to the report:
  • Renewable energy resources represented 2% of Australia’s total energy production, in energy content terms, in 2010–11 (Table 2).
  • Renewable energy accounted for around 4% of Australia’s energy consumption in 2010–11.
  • While the composition is constantly changing, the overall share of renewables in Australia’s energy mix has been reasonably constant over the past two decades. Hydroelectricity and bioenergy have been the dominant sources of renewable energy for a number of decades.
  • In 2010–11, around 53% of Australia’s renewable energy was from biomass, with 36% from wood and wood products, and 16% from bagasse.
  • Renewable energy production declined at an average rate of 2.4% a year in the 5 years to 2010–11, primarily as a result of falling bagasse use by sugar manufacturers in Queensland and New South Wales.

Australia’s energy use is also described in detail in Bioenergy in Australia: Status and opportunities [PDF 9.6 MB], published by Bioenergy Australia in 2012. See Chapter 1: ‘Energy use in Australia’.

Update on Biogas Generation and Use in Australia

As part of Australia’s participation in IEA Bioenergy Task 37 – Energy from Biogas, Australia National Team Leader A/Prof Bernadette McCabe is leading an Australian survey aimed at providing more comprehensive information about biogas generation in Australia, the various feedstocks and the generation capacity.

The survey and results to date can be accessed via this link.

Australia Biogas Survey and Results
Australia Biogas Survey and Results
In addition, A/Prof McCabe is also the author of the 2016 Australia Country Report on Biogas (a deliverable from IEA Bioenergy Task 37) which can be found on the Bioenergy Australia website.

Note: Australia is able to participate in IEA Bioenergy Tasks thanks to funding received by Bioenergy Australia from ARENA’s Emerging Renewables Program (ERP). This enables the bioenergy sector in Australia to benefit from shared learnings on an international scale. To find out more see the IEA Bioenergy pages on the Bioenergy Australia website.

What is the forecast production?

Energy projections for Australia to 2050 were released in December 2012 by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics.

According to the report Energy in Australia 2013 total primary energy consumption is projected to grow by around 21% in the period 2013–2050.

The projection reflects two sizable shifts in the sector:
  • the long-term decline in the energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product) of the Australian economy
  • the increased use of renewables (particularly in electricity generation) resulting from decreasing costs and policy measures designed to increase their competitiveness.
Renewables are forecast to supplant non-renewables as the dominant source of electricity generation by 2050, comprising 51% of the energy mix.

Bioenergy’s share of total electricity generation is projected to increase from 2% to 5% in the period 2013–2050.

Australia’s forecast energy use to 2030 and beyond is described in Bioenergy in Australia: Status and opportunities [PDF 9.6 MB], published by Bioenergy Australia in 2012. See Section 1.6: ‘Australia’s energy use – 2030 and beyond’.