Experts say Australia's bioenergy industry could be worth more than $10 billion a year. 

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has released its Bioenergy Roadmap, which lays out a vision for a sustainable bioenergy industry that it says can help lower emissions, increase fuel security, enhance waste recovery, and deliver economic benefits.

The roadmap says the bioenergy sector could contribute around $10 billion to Australia’s GDP annually and create 26,200 new jobs, reduce emissions by about 9 per cent, divert an extra 6 per cent of waste from landfill, and enhance fuel security.

Also this week, ARENA has been granted $33.5 million in additional funding from the Federal Government to further support and advance Australia’s bioenergy sector.

The roadmap should be considered by the Federal Government in the next series of investment and policy decisions by the private and public sectors in the bioenergy industry in Australia.

It highlights the opportunities that bioenergy offers for regional areas, with many feedstocks sourced from agricultural activities, such as sugarcane waste and livestock industries. Bioenergy investment should be able to support long-term regional employment, provide additional revenue streams for farmers and drive economic growth.

“Bioenergy has significant potential to complement Australia’s future energy mix and our economy,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller says. 

“Being so diverse, bioenergy can benefit multiple sectors with residential, commercial and industrial applications.

“As well as reducing our agricultural waste, bioenergy can reduce emissions in hard-to-abate sectors and can complement other low emission technologies.

“The Bioenergy Roadmap builds upon years of work in bioenergy and the lessons learned from those projects, and sets out a clear pathway forward for the bioenergy sector. We hope this roadmap will provide the information required by governments and industry to further develop our bioenergy resources and support future growth.

“We welcome the additional funding from the Australian Government which will help ARENA to immediately help the sector in funding new research, development and deployment projects in aviation and maritime biofuels,” he said.