Qld Premier among inaugural bioenergy award winners

Friday, 19 October, 2018

Qld Premier among inaugural bioenergy award winners

Four innovative bioenergy projects and the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, have received top honours at the inaugural Bioenergy Innovation Awards, held at the State Library of Queensland this week.

The awards showcase Australia’s ambition in developing innovative bio-based alternatives for heat, power and liquid fuels and how these projects are taking significant steps towards seeing the $3.5–$5 billion investment potential of the sector.

“Bioenergy is the subject of considerable interest and investment worldwide, due to its enormous potential to reduce carbon emissions and drive a more sustainable energy future,” said Bioenergy Australia CEO Shahana McKenzie.

“The awards are recognition for the terrific breadth and scope of the bioenergy project work being undertaken across Australia.”

The Government Leadership Award was presented to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, under whose leadership a 10-year Roadmap and Action Plan has been developed to support the growth of Queensland’s bioeconomy. The plan has already identified 15 current projects that represent a potential investment of around $1.4 billion and 2500 new jobs in rural and regional communities if they progress as planned.

“I commend Premier Palaszczuk on her state-leading policy vision and commitment to the bioenergy industry that we know will create thousands of jobs and attract billions in new investment, particularly across regional Australia — Queensland is set to reap a lot of those benefits,” said McKenzie.

“The integrated approach is paving the way for Australia to develop a sustainable, export-oriented industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector by 2026. The plan shows a pathway which recognises Queensland’s mix of natural resources, skilled workforces, world-class research and development, and supporting supply chain industries.”

Other award winners are as follows:

  • The Large-Scale Bioenergy Innovation Award went to Perth-based Biogass Renewables, whose recently commissioned waste-to-energy plant will turn 35,000–50,000 tonnes of food waste into 2.4–2.6 MW of energy per year.
  • The Small-Scale Bioenergy Innovation Award went to Victoria’s Meredith Dairy, which replaced its gas boiler unit with a boiler fuelled by sustainably sourced biomass materials using wood chips.
  • The Community Leadership Award recognised Pyrenees Shire Council, in regional Victoria, for its large-scale collaborative project which focused on converting straw and straw pellets to energy. This project follows on from the successful local installation of a wood chip heating system at Beaufort Hospital, replacing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
  • The Research Leadership Award was presented to the Australian Biomass for Bioenergy Assessment — a large-scale national collaboration of states, industry and universities seeking to enable better links between biomass suppliers and end users. The platform will help local businesses get more value from organic material and has already seen the tool secure itself as a global leader in the spatial mapping of the availability and location of biomass.

“The awarded projects challenge the status quo of the energy sector, build on the early pioneering work and showcase the potential for Australia to be a world-class bioenergy player,” said McKenzie.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/quaddplusq

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