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Bioenergy involves efficiently extracting considerable quantities of clean, low-emission electricity from waste. Bioenergy fuel sources are often derived from agricultural, forestry and municipal wastes. Sugar cane waste – known as bagasse – remains the most common form of bioenergy generation, closely followed by landfill gas.

Other common sources include the black liquor derived from paper making, as well as sewage gas and food waste. Bioenergy generators tend to be smaller than hydro plants and wind farms.

Bioenergy generation

Bioenergy generated approximately 3412 GWh of electricity in Australia in 2018. This equated to 1.5 per cent of total electricity generation, and 7.1 per cent of total clean energy generation.


of total clean energy generated in 2018


of total electricity generated in 2018

Recent projects

The largest bioenergy project delivered in 2018 was Maryborough Sugar Factory Limited's Tableland Sugar Mill in Queensland. The $75 million plant will use sugarcane fibre, known as bagasse, to produce up to 24 MW of electricity - enough to power 28,000 homes in the Tableland region.

Another notable project was the Select Harvest Carina West Cogeneration Plant in Victoria. This 3.1 MW 'hull-to-energy' facility is a world-first, using almond hulls and shells as an energy source for generating electricity and steam.

In Western Australia, Phoenix Energy and Macquarie Capital will deliver Australia's first waste-to-energy plant. When complete, the Kwinana plant will divert up to half of the residential waste in the Perth metro area from landfill sites. The facility will generate enough electricity to power up to 50,000 households and is supported by a 20-year waste supply agreement with eight local governments.
Bioenergy projects completed in 2018
ProjectStateInstalled capacity (MW)Fuel source
Tableland Sugar MillWA24.0Bagasse
Select Harvest Carina West Cogeneration PlantVIC3.1Biomass
Caboolture LandfillQLD2.1Food processing waste
Goulburn Bioenergy ProjectNSW1.6Food processing waste
Orora Botany Mill Power Station 1NSW1.5Waste from paper processing

Bioenergy production by state in 2018 (GWh)

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Total production
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