Aussies point to $1.8B/yr opportunity in biorefineries, but not much action on fostering development

September 28, 2014 |

AustraliaIn Australia, two key reports were released by the Government yesterday. The “Corelli” report found that a supportive biorefinery policy would result in the annual financial impact of more than $1.8 billion per year by 2035, supporting 6,640 full-time jobs, many in rural Queensland.

The report, prepared by Deloitte, concluded that “he economic impact analysis assumes that the biorefineries operate without government subsidisation. While production is viable without ongoing subsidies, some government facilitation would assist in industry establishment’ while noting that “There is a potential role for government in facilitating investment in the sector and ensuring policy settings do not impede private investment, for example through streamlining processes for environmental approvals.” The report was launched in Parliament House on Monday by Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry, in remarks centered opportunities for the manufacturing sector

The report is here.

Also, Australia’s Department of Industry released the Energy Green Paper last week, focusing on efforts in coal, gas and the electricity market — but remarkably light on efforts on oil, transport fuels, emissions reductions & climate change. It’s here.

The Australian Senate has set up an inquiry into Australia’s Transport Energy Resilience and Sustainability, followjng the release of two NRMA Liquid Fuel Security Reports in 2013 and 2014 which found that a “market based” approach to energy security is not meeting Australia’s needs. The most recent NRMA report is here.

The Digest’s Take

Australia’s policies continue to be in flux following the victory of a conservative coalition in last year’s elections. The government has taken the decision to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, yet is seeing the bioeconomy highly influential in any hopes of reviving Australia’s manufacturing sector and addressing energy security on the petroleum side. If the Senate inquiry concludes that the market will not efficiently address the long-term and externalized challenges on energy security — it may well pose a headache for a government considered hawkish on security concerns.

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