Decarbonisation of the natural gas industry

by Tiffany Paczek
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Bioenergy Australia welcomes investment in the Future Fuels CRC to drive decarbonisation of gas networks.

The Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Senator the Hon Zed Seselja has announced that the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program will be co-funding Future Fuels CRC with $26.25 million over its proposed seven year research program. The combined investment from the Commonwealth, Australia’s energy industry and universities (cash and in-kind support) will total over $90 million over the life of the program.

The Future Fuels CRC will undertake research and development to transition Australia’s energy infrastructure to a low-carbon economy using fuels such as hydrogen and biogas. Collaborating with over 60 companies, six universities, the energy market operator and two regulators the CRC will develop solutions for current infrastructure and equipment to use these new fuels today and well into the future. Future low-carbon fuels offer the potential to store and deliver reliable, clean and affordable energy through both new and repurposed equipment.

Bioenergy Australia welcomes the investment in moving towards decarbonisation of our national gas industry. Biogas is a safe and reliable gas solution and Australia currently lags behind in deployment of biogas projects. Not only can biogas supply energy, through capturing the gas it is reducing waste and significantly reducing emissions.

Bioenergy Australia’s CEO Shahana McKenzie says, “It is essential that the dialogue around decarbonisation of Australia’s energy mix expands to gas and liquid transport fuels. For too long policy initiatives and funding support has been focused on electricity and other essential elements of the energy mix have been overlooked.”

A successful project was opened in April in Goulburn NSW, consisting of an anaerobic digestion process where the abattoir waste is treated in a covered lagoon to biologically break down the effluent to produce biogas. Biogas is treated and transferred to two 800 kW dual fuel generators to produce approximately 3800 MWh of electricity per year for use during the manufacturing process to reduce peak electricity consumption. The generators are able to supplement biogas with natural gas, allowing the plant to minimise use of electricity from the grid during peak usage and peak charge periods.

Bioenergy Australia welcomes this investment and initiative and looks forward to working with the CRC over the life of the program.

Image: 123RF’s kodda ©

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