Report: Biofuels could be an economic boon for Australia
Report outlines the bio-economy opportunities for Australia, and sets out a 5-point strategy on how to grow the biofuels industry and highlights the need for a federal blending mandate.
Recently released research from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) reveals thousands of jobs and growth to regional economies could be delivered through greater use of ethanol-blended fuel (E10) and biodiesel-blended fuel. The entire nation also stands to benefit from a healthier environment and reduced emissions, as well as more independence in fuel production and supply.
QUT economists and scientists have outlined their findings in their “Biofuels to bioproducts: a growth industry for Australia” research paper.
Researchers said the report should spur Australian politicians and businesses into adopting a friendlier E10 policy framework. Some of the major findings include:
- Increased use of E10 could create 2,080 direct jobs and another 6,570 indirect jobs.
- More than $1.1 billion of additional annual income for regional Australia could be generated.
- The performance of fuels and vehicles will be improved, with bioethanol found to be the cleanest alternative for increasing the octane content of petrol. Similarly, the higher levels of cetane in biodiesel results in a cleaner burning fuel.
- Increasing biofuel use to 10% of total consumption can reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 8.9 million tonnes of CO2eq per year.
- Using E10 cuts exhaust particulate emissions by 26%. This delivers a range of health benefits for the community and helps reduce healthcare costs.
- Swapping 10% of national fuel consumption for domestically produced bioethanol could improve Australia’s balance of trade by approximately $1 billion annually.
- Using E10 could reduce petrol imports by around 18% each year, enhancing Australia’s energy security as well as its bottom line.
With current global consumption of all biofuels at 10.4%, Bioenergy Australia, a bioenergy advocacy group with members from the government, research, education and private sectors, regards an increase of E10 petrol to 10% as being a goal that can be easily attained if the political will exists.
More information on ‘Biofuels to bioproducts: a growth industry for Australia’ can be found at BioEnergyAustralia.org.au.
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