Australian Bioenergy Fund Launched with $100M Initial Commitment

The Sydney, Australia-based Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) recently committed $100 million for a new Australian Bioenergy Fund to advance the country’s bioenergy sector.

The fund will support a broad range of projects seeking to produce energy from agricultural, council, forestry and mining waste streams. CEFC said in a Nov. 25 statement that it plans to raise more than $200 million in equity for the fund.

According to the CEFC, the fund will invest in a range of technologies, such as:

  • Energy from waste
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Sustainably sourced biomass-to-energy projects
  • Landfill gas capture
  • Wood pelletization – where forestry plantation waste is converted into pellets that can be burned as fuel
  • The production of biofuels

“We see this new fund as playing an important role in accelerating and widening the market uptake of bioenergy and energy from waste technologies that have a proven track record overseas but are not yet widely deployed in Australia’s energy mix,” CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said in a statement. “A number of projects that the CEFC has assessed have been held back by a lack of equity capital, and that needs to change.  Converting waste from agricultural production, mining, forestry and landfill has the potential to lower business operating costs, reduce the reliance on grid electricity and create a more sustainable way to manage waste disposal.”

In a report on Australia’s bioenergy market released in November, the CEFC said that, given the low penetration of bioenergy and energy from waste technology in Australia to date, it sees considerable opportunities to increase investment in the sector.

CEFC estimated that the potential investment opportunity in Australia for energy from urban waste, agricultural waste and forest residues is between $3.5 billion and $5 billion through 2020.

The report said that a range of different urban waste streams offer the potential for generating electricity and heat, including food and garden organics, waste wood and timber, wastewater and residual waste. The CEFC estimated the potential investment opportunity in those streams to be between $2.2 billion and $3.3 billion.

According to the report, bioenergy and energy from waste technologies currently contributes about 1 percent of Australia’s electricity output.

The CEFC is a statutory authority established by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012 and is a Commonwealth Authority.

Lead image: Landscape With Large Woodpile. Credit: Shutterstock.

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