The state government is probing what needs to be done to ensure the latest attempt to establish a bioenergy industry in WA doesn’t suffer the same fate as efforts nearly two decades ago.
The state government is probing what needs to be done to ensure the latest attempt to establish a bioenergy industry in Western Australia doesn’t suffer the same fate as efforts nearly two decades ago.
Spurred by booming industry demand for green fuels, bp Australia and a swag of newcomers are at various stages of getting new biofuels projects online across the state.
But a mix of cost pressures, government policy – namely abolition of the carbon tax – and Gull’s 2013 sale to Puma Energy put an end to the industry’s aspirations.
WA today has one small operating biorefinery in Henderson.
Agriculture Minister Jackie Jarvis said the state government was developing a position but would not confirm if such a move would include sustainable fuel mandates.
Ms Jarvis said the position would include investment and incentives needed to build an industry in WA and leverage Federal support.
“The Government is exploring the opportunities bioenergy and related bioproducts offer our regional economies,” she said.
“This includes advanced biofuels which could play an important role in WA’s energy transition by providing energy-dense, drop-in liquid alternatives to diesel and jet fuel.
“(The) Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development works with the State and Commonwealth governments regarding the review of fuel standards and policies that would underpin a sustainable fuel policy.”
Ms Jarvis said the 2022 WA Climate Policy report's call for a bioeconomy strategy was still in the works.
“Most advanced economies in the world are… saying by 2030 10, or 20, or 30 per cent of all liquid fuels that are used need to come from sustainable sources,” he said.
“Australia is lagging behind terribly in terms of a sustainable fuel policy.
“We need the government to put its weight behind sustainable fuels.”
Bioenergy Australia chief executive Shahana McKenzie said the federal government’s Jet Zero council to drive decarbonisation of aviation fuel was a good start.
Ms McKenzie said government procurement could play a strong role in leading the change to renewable fuels.