• Bioenergy

    Bioenergy is the energy produced from using organic matter, known as biomass. Energy can be in the form of heating, cooling, electricity or transport fuels.

    Resources in Western Australia

    There are several potential biomass sources in Western Australia, including:

    • increased use of sewage gas, as the amount of methane recoverable from wastewater treatment plants continues to increase
    • organic waste collected from local government areas waste from Mallee eucalypts, where large-scale plantings may be used help manage salinity and/or be grown on saline-affected land
    • waste from plantation forestry projects in the South-West and Great Southern Regions
    • specific crops may also be grown for their energy content, although this has the potential to compete with food production if arable land is used.

    Current use in Western Australia

    There are eight small power stations in the Perth metropolitan area that use landfill gas to produce electricity. These plants currently have an installed capacity of nearly 20 megawatts.

    The Energy Resources and Infrastructure 2010 map on our publications page shows the location of landfill gas facilities in Western Australia.

    Future use in Western Australia

    Biomass can be used to generate a reliable and constant low-emissions power supply as the fuel source can be stored and controlled. This makes it one of the most likely options to replace coal-fired generation supplies in the long-term.

    Western Australia has significant plantation forestry and agricultural industries, with some agricultural areas severely affected by salinity. There are likely to be substantial amounts of waste from these sectors and/or there is the potential to grow specific energy crops in these areas. This biomass can then be used for locally based power generation or production of transport fuels.

    In more populated areas, there are growing amounts of both organic waste and wastewater which might also be used to generate electricity.