Four innovative bio-energy projects and the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, were awarded top honours at the inaugural Bioenergy Innovation Awards Dinner, held at the State Library of Queensland this month.
The awards are designed to showcase Australia’s ambition in developing innovative bio-based alternatives for heating, power and liquid fuels and how these projects are taking significant steps towards seeing the $3.5 to $5 billion investment potential of the sector. The awards recognise the terrific breadth and scope of the bioenergy project work being undertaken across Australia.
Shahana McKenzie, Bioenergy Australia CEO, said that bioenergy is the subject of considerable interest and investment worldwide, due to its enormous potential to reduce carbon emissions and drive a more sustainable energy future.
An Australia-first project which converts food waste into energy was honoured the Large-Scale Bioenergy Innovation Award. Perth-based company, Biogass Renewables was applauded for their efforts in commissioning a plant which will take between 35,000 and 50,000 tonnes per annum of food waste, and produce between 2.4MW – 2.6MW of energy.
“Their innovative application of anaerobic digestion is a major advancement for the Australian market. We look forward to seeing their ambitions come to fruition in other locations around Australia in the years to come,” said Ms McKenzie.
Meredith Dairy was awarded the Small-Scale Bioenergy Innovation Award for the company’s successful demonstration of a holistic, integrated solution at small scale. The company was honoured by the judges for replacing its gas boiler unit with a boiler fuelled by sustainably-sourced biomass materials using wood chips.
Premier Palaszczuk was selected for the Bioenergy Government Leadership Award due to her state-leading policy vision and commitment to the bioenergy industry which will create thousands of jobs and attract billions in new investment, particularly across regional Australia
“Queensland is set to reap a lot of those benefits, the awarded projects challenge the status quo of the energy sector, build on the early pioneering work and showcase the potential for Australia to be a world-class bioenergy player,” said Ms McKenzie.
Under the Premier’s leadership, a 10-year Roadmap and Action Plan has been developed by the Queensland Government to support the growth of Queensland’s bio-economy, showing how the state could be established as a premium location. Since its establishment, the Action Plan has already identified 15 current projects that represent a potential investment of around $1.4 billion and 2,500 new jobs in rural and regional communities if they progress as planned.
“The integrated approach is paving the way for Australia to develop a sustainable, export-oriented industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector by 2026. The plan shows a pathway which recognises Queensland’s mix of natural resources, skilled workforces, world-class research and development and supporting supply chain industries,” concluded Ms McKenzie.
Below is a full list of award winners in the Bioenergy Innovation Awards:
BIOENERGY INNOVATION AWARD – LARGE SCALE
Winner: Biogass Renewables Pty Ltd, the Richgro Anaerobic Digestion Project
Commendation: Microbiogen Pty Ltd, the Development and Launch of World’s First Superior Biocatalyst for Global Bio-Ethanol Industry
BIOENERGY INNOVATION AWARD – SMALL SCALE
Winner: Dragon NRG Pty Ltd, the Meredith Dairy Bioenergy Project
Commendation: ReNu Energy Limited, Goulburn Bioenergy Project
BIOENERGY COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD
Winner: Pyrenees Shire, the Pyrenees Straw Project
Commendation: CLEAN Cowra, Goulburn Bioenergy Project, CLEAN Cowra BioEnergy Hub
Commendation: Mt Alexander Sustainability Group, Integrated Community Bioenergy from Waste project
BIOENERGY CORPORATE LEADERSHIP AWARD
Commendation: MSM Milling, MSM Milling Biomass Fuel Switch Project
AWARD – BIOENERGY RESEARCH LEADERSHIP AWARD
Winner: Australian Biomass for Bioenergy Assessment
Commendation: Queensland University of Technology Industrial Biotechnology, Bioproducts and Biorefining Team, Achieving bio-economy impact through industry focused research
BIOENERGY GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP AWARD
Winner: Premier of Queensland, the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP