South Australia has strong potential for bioenergy

  • Bioenergy could play a significant role South Australia by supplying a localised energy source in low input, peak demand periods
  • Bioenergy hotspots identified in Penola and Mount Gambier

The South Australian government has released the first stage of a new report that highlights “hotspot” areas to further develop the state’s bioenergy industry.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis released A Bioenergy Roadmap for South Australia, which identifies Mount Gambier and Penola as prospective areas for development.

Mr Koutsantonis said biomass resources are a sustainable and environmentally-friendly feedstock that will contribute significantly to diversifying Australia’s energy sources.

“Electricity, transportation fuels, chemicals and materials currently produced from petroleum and natural gas could instead be produced from these biomass resources,” he said.

“Bioenergy could play a significant role in coming years by supplying a localised energy source in low input, peak demand periods.”

In March, the State Government commissioned consultancy group Jacobs to analyse and report on South Australia’s bioenergy potential as a first step towards creating a substantial and sustainable bioenergy industry. The company investigated commercial conversion technologies, mapped potential biomass feedstocks for those technologies, and explored the potential for new purpose-grown biomass crops.

Mr Koutsantonis said by matching biomass feedstock information to companies with a demand for both electricity and heat, Jacobs arrived at a number of areas in the state for further investigation.

“The project has significantly increased information about the potential location and use of bioenergy generation in the state,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“It shows the most prospective area for bioenergy is Penola and Mount Gambier, while purpose-grown biomass crops are best suited to the areas of Peake, Naracoorte, Elliston, Spalding and Cummins.

“This presents a fantastic opportunity for South Australia and the South East region in particular to diversify its industries and create new jobs for local communities.”

The research is available on the RenewablesSA website.