The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 28, 2018, Bioenergy Australia and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) released “Biofuels to bioproducts: A growth industry for Australia.” The paper calls for the implementation of a Five-Point Plan creating a bioenergy policy framework to spur growth in Ausralia’s bioeconomy.  The paper also argues that the current lack of policy and programs encouraging the bioenergy industry have hurt Australia as it has missed out on economic, social, and environmental benefits that other countries have experienced as a result of bioeconomy growth. It is suggested that “increased use of 10 per cent ethanol-blended petrol (E10) in Australia could create more than 8600 direct & indirect jobs, attract $1.56 billion in investment and generate more than $1.1 billion in additional revenue each year in regional areas.” The researchers proposed a Five-Point Plan in the paper, which includes:

  1. Developing a national biofuels, biobased products, and bioeconomy strategy;
  2. Implementing a national biofuels mandate supporting the introduction of higher quality fuels;
  3. Providing supporting mechanisms of education, incentives, and infrastructure;
  4. Establishing policy frameworks for advanced/drop-in biofuels, biochemical, and biobased products; and
  5. Supporting commercial developments through industry and research collaboration.

 

 

On June 23, 2016, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced $2.4 million in funding to support the development and construction of a biocrude and biofuel laboratory in Queensland. The $5.3 million project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019 and will be Australia's first biorefinery producing renewable diesel and jet fuel from plant material. Australian companies have produced biocrude in the past but there is currently no commercial scale process to refine the biocrude into useable biofuels. The project by Southern Oil Refining (SOR) will help the Royal Australian Navy follow through on an agreement to explore utilizing more environmentally friendly fuel. Ivor Frischknect, CEO of ARENA, stated of the project: "SOR will carry out testing and reporting to produce valuable knowledge for Australia's bioenergy industry. New protocols for the conversion of biocrudes to drop-in fuels will also be established." This project will inform the future construction of a commercial scale biorefinery.


 

On June 17, 2015, the Australian government made a bipartisan agreement to tax Australian-produced biodiesel and ethanol. Cleaner fuel grants for renewable and biobased diesel fuels will end by July 1, 2015, as will the Ethanol production grant. An excise rate on biodiesel will be phased in starting in 2015-2016 at zero percent, and will increase annually, eventually reaching 50 percent of the diesel excise rate in 2030-2031. The Biofuels Association of Australia approved of the agreement, saying it will "allow the industry to focus on the longer term and provides a sustainable footing for the biofuels industry to grow and delivers on the government objective of moving biofuels into the excise framework."