31 October 2014
Australia’s emerging biofuels industry has the potential to be a valuable contributor to the nation’s renewable energy supply, according to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
CEFC Chief Investment Officer Ted Dow, addressing the Biofuels Association of Australia’s annual conference in Sydney on October 31, said the right partners were essential to the success of biofuels projects.
“Bioenergy makes up about 10 per cent – or nearly $100 million, of the CEFC’s current total portfolio, but to date this investment has mainly focused on waste-to-energy and biogas. We would welcome further expanding our portfolio into biofuel helping build bankable projects in this sector,” he said.
“CEFC has the ability to finance a wide range of different biofuel projects, including activities which support development and enable widening the demand for biofuel products. CEFC financing is also available to help energy users increase their energy recovery through biofuel that utilises existing waste streams.
“This is an area where there is substantial growth potential over the coming decade, helping Australia diversify its fuel supply, meet changing consumer preferences, improve energy recovery and provide added-value to our agricultural sector.”
Mr Dow said economic and technological drivers are assisting the growth of a global biofuel market and with the right policy drivers, Australia is well placed to establish an integrated bio-refinery industry, producing for both domestic use and export to Asia.
Drawing on experience in the renewable energy sector, Mr Dow explained that one of the key features a financier looks for is whether the right partnerships are in place involving the feedstock supplier, energy offtaker, project operator and equity investor; where interests are aligned the parties depend on each other for project success.
“Understanding what it takes to make a biofuel project bankable will assist in unlocking some of the potential market opportunities in this sector in the future,” he said.