‘Clean Energy Finance Corporation’ is collaborating with ‘New Forests’ in financing the development of bio-fuel and bio-energy.
For those that don’t know, they are products of turning waste and organic matter into energy and fuel. Great developments in alternative energy are on the horizon thanks to the joining of two large entities, Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and New Forests. The two companies will invest in a combination of power, heat and renewable fuels projects that will involve both syngas and bio-diesel. These projects will be conducted in association with a number of Australian forestry investments.
The terms of the collaboration include development of a variety of commercial investment opportunities in the area of renewable energy. New Forests will be instrumental in developing opportunities that will dovetail nicely with regional forest sectors. Throughout Australia, a large number of vast forestry plantations have benefited from New Forests’ investments. It is hoped that this agreement will help establish an all-new domestic market for both softwood and hardwood timber. Additionally, the market for sawmill and traditional forestry products stands to benefit from the arrangement.
“This is an opportunity to diversify Australian markets for timber, turn waste material into energy, and create new jobs and investment in rural Australia.” said David Brand, the ‘New Forests’ managing director.
“We see biomass based energy and liquid fuels as an area of substantial potential for growth, and an opportunity that could rival the size of traditional timber markets in the next ten or 20 years.”
“This is an excellent demonstration of how the CEFC can work with the forestry industry to enable bio-energy projects that will fulfil the potential for the industry to convert its waste products into a valuable renewable energy source. “ said Oliver Yates, Clean Energy Finance Corporation CEO.
“Investment in bio-energy can help reduce carbon emissions, lessen the reliance on traditional electricity and has the potential to boost productivity through reduced energy and operating costs.”
At this time, about 0.9% of the electricity used in Australia is generated by bio-energy; however, according to the Clean Energy Council, the upcoming collaboration could increase this amount dramatically. In fact, they predict a six-fold increase by 2020 with proper support.
Oliver Yates continued, “Linking Australia’s very significant forestry resources and skills and enhancing these through new clean energy technologies utilising cellulosic biomass will build a new industry of national value”
Currently, New Forests holds timber and land investments of 375,000 hectares in a variety of areas throughout Australia, including Timberlink, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. Quite a few of these plantations were set up using managed investment schemes. At this time, a great deal of work is necessary to develop both infrastructure and market opportunities.
David Brand said “Market development is a key part of the work that needs to be done to reposition Australia’s plantation forestry sector for the future,”
“As an Australian business we seek to achieve excellent returns for investors, and innovation is a key part of that work,” .
CEFC has specific investment criteria in place, and is willing to consider any projects proposed by New Forests that adhere to these criteria. One project that is already a priority is a bio-energy plant that is located in the Green Triangle. It stands beside the Tarpeena sawmill. Other plans include assessing the potential of using hardwood plantations to produce bio-fuel and bio-energy in other areas.