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Australian PM missing bioenergy in policy debate

Bioenergy Australia (BA) welcomes Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s statement within his February 1 National Press Club address that energy policy should be ‘technology agnostic’ and his recognition of the imperative for ‘more synchronous baseload power’. However, the role of bioenergy is being missed in the national energy policy discussions.

In a statement Bioenergy Australia (BA), an information and networking forum fostering the use of biomass for energy and bio-based products welcomes Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s statement within his February 1 National Press Club address that energy policy should be ‘technology agnostic’ and his recognition of the imperative for ‘more synchronous baseload power’.

What is being missed in the national energy policy discussion is the important role that bioenergy can play in providing near zero emission, dispatchable and base load power. Bioenergy has many of the positive attributes of base load coal fired power, but importantly is essentially carbon neutral. Globally, modern bioenergy power plants, providing reliable, dispatchable, and synchronous power contribute over 106 GW of installed capacity, well over double Australia’s total coal-fired power capacity. Should carbon capture and storage technologies become commercially developed, they could be applied to bioenergy plants, enabling a unique negative greenhouse gas (GHG) power technology. Bioenergy has many other positive attributes, including the potential to stimulate rural and regional economies, providing permanent jobs and needs to be recognised for the values it can provide in the national energy policy discussion, said Dr Stephen Schuck, CEO of Bioenergy Australia.

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