Letter to Commonwealth Gov calls for biomethane injection in gas networks


An open letter to the Commonwealth Government signed on behalf of thousands of organisations and businesses is advocating for biomethane injection into gas distribution networks.

This is the first coming together of the diverse cross sector to back the call on the government to recognise the potential of biogas, and in particular biomethane as a gas with a chemical composition very similar to natural gas.

Bioenergy Australia CEO Shahana McKenzie said the letter represents thousands of organisations and millions of employees across business, industry and utilities sectors who are willing to work together on innovative cross sector solutions in the market.

“This support, combined with the right government vision and investment, means Australia could unlock the significant economic and varied social benefits of bioenergy – particularly in regional areas,” Ms McKenzie said.

This includes wastewater treatment plants, landfill sites, agricultural and food processing facilities, meat and livestock processing facilities where the methane is captured and used rather than emitted into the atmosphere.

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A landmark report commissioned by Bioenergy Australia last year on the availability of biogas in Australia identified 371PJ of available energy, which is enough to decarbonise industrial, commercial and residential gas users currently supplied by distributed gas networks across Australia.

The report provides nine recommendations to overcome the challenges facing the emerging industry, which include the need for more favourable policy conditions to enable the growth of a mature and sustainable biogas industry in Australia. 

Biomethane can:

  1. Provide a complimentary reliable and flexible supply to gas power plants, supporting increasing variable renewable electricity – with immediate opportunities to scale up
  2. Be delivered through connections to existing equipment in heavy industry
  3. Use existing domestic networks and appliances to enable residential gas customers to decarbonise energy use in the home
  4. BioCNG delivered through the gas network can start reducing emissions from heavy vehicles

Ms McKenzie said, “We are confident with the right policy settings, Australia can attract the necessary investment to deliver a cost-effective, zero-emissions energy system that will create new jobs and new industries.”

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“To achieve this, we are calling on governments and relevant agencies to work with us to further identify and raise awareness of the bioenergy resources that are available for development at a federal, state/territory and regional level and unlock seed funding from government and private investment to showcase, activate and de-risk the biomethane market across Australia.

“Creating this policy environment will enable gas users to quickly and cost-effectively achieve net zero emissions now, while also scaling to play a significant role in decarbonising the gas supply system over the next decade and beyond,” concluded McKenzie.

Signatories calling for Australian biomethane market development include:

1.    Ai Group
2.    APA
3.    AusNet Services
4.    ATCO
5.    Australian Gas Infrastructure Group
6.    Australian Pipeline and Gas Association
7.    Business Council of Australia
8.    Bioenergy Australia
9.    EDL
10.   Energy Networks Australia
11.   Energy Users Association of Australia
12.   Gas Energy Australia
13.   Gippsland Water
14.   Hitachi Zosen INNOVA
15.   Hunter Water
16.   Infrastructure Partnerships Australia
17.   Interface Carpets
18.   Jemena
19.   Renewable Gas Alliance
20.   Sydney Water
21.   Utilitas
22.   Water Services Association of Australia
23.   Yarra Valley Water.