Australia to explore biofuels mandate, incentives

  • Market: Biofuels, Oil products
  • 15/05/24

Australia's federal budget is funding mandate studies and pursuing certification schemes, given the increasing likelihood biofuels will play a significant role in the nation's energy transition.

The federal government has pledged A$18.5mn ($12.3mn) in the four years from 2024-25 to develop a certification scheme for low-carbon liquid fuels, including SAF and renewable diesel, by expanding its guarantee of origin programme for long-term demand by the industry.

An extra A$1.5mn over two years from 2024-25 will go to analysis of the regulatory impact of the costs and benefits of introducing mandates for low-carbon liquid fuels, while the government has promised consultation on possible production incentives for domestic project developers.

Money from the A$1.7bn Future Made in Australia innovation fund will also be made available for liquid fuels research, to be administered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to commercialise net zero technology.

"The package of announcements is dealing with crucial areas essential for deployment, including certification to ensure Australia develops a sustainable liquid fuels industry, resourcing to support key demand side interventions such as a low carbon fuels standard and consultation on additional supply-side measures such as production credits," Bioenergy Australia chief executive Shahana McKenzie said on 15 May.

The funding pales in comparison to the $9bn hydrogen investment promised by the government, although much of that is deferred to the decade from the 2027-28 fiscal year.

About 45pc of Australia's energy use is supplied by liquid fuels but the nations lags behind many countries on decarbonising its transport sector. Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation forecasts demand for jet fuel will grow 75pc by 2050. But no domestic production facility has yet reached a financial close, despite major airlines committing to increasing their SAF use.

Domestic feedstocks including agricultural residues could meet 60pc of Australian jet fuel demand initially, growing to 90pc by 2050, Bioenergy Australia has said, while pursuing renewable fuels could cut the country's dependence on oil product imports from 90pc to 61pc by 2040.


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