The transport sector is responsible for 16 percent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, with cars accounting for almost half of Australia’s transport emissions, according to the Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: December 2015, .
With Australia committing to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2030 through the Paris Agreement, increasing the use of ethanol-blended petrol (E10) could be the answer to cutting Australia’s transport emissions. Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with BioEnergy Australia have found the increased use of E10 and biodiesel could see a cut in exhaust particulate emissions by 26 percent, leading to improved air quality and health benefits.
There has been a consistent campaign of myths and misconceptions touted about E10 for a long time, but in reality it provides great fuel performance and economy, reduced emissions and keeps the air cleaner while saving hundreds a year to average fuel users.
The report was be shared by NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro at the BioFuels Strong Event at the Parliament of NSW recently.
The report details and commentary include:
- Bioethanol is the most practical and cleanest alternative to increasing octane content of petrol. Expanding biofuel use could significantly contribute to meeting Australia’s national emissions reduction target, as greenhouse gas emissions would drop by 8.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) per year.
- The reduction in emissions would deliver a range of health benefits and would help reduce healthcare costs.
- Growth in the use of 10 percent ethanol-blended petrol (E10) alone across Australia could attract $1.56 billion of investment.
- In 2007, the NSW government mandated a six percent target for all fuel sales to be ethanol and biodiesel – this target is not being met, with current sales only reaching 2.5 percent.
- Queensland is the only state in the country that is exceeding its three percent per quarter ethanol mandate – the Queensland Government is implementing a strategy to create a biofuels industry worth $1 billion by 2026.
- Australia’s average ethanol blending rate stood at just 1.1 percent of the total volume of petrol sold in 2015-16.
- BioEnergy Australia recommends reaching 10 percent to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Increased use of ethanol-blended biofuels can restore confidence in the renewable energy sector – E10 could reduce petrol imports by around 18 percent per year, enhancing energy security in Australia.
- The report recommends this be raised to 10 percent of Australia’s petrol imports being substituted with ethanol produced domestically.
QUT researchers and BioEnergy Australia call for a five-point plan to be implemented to foster growth of Australia’s biofuels sector, which will deliver significant emission reductions.