August 13 2020

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Australia and Biomass

In Australia, most of our energy comes from fossil fuels, which are quite abundant in the area. However, renewable energy sources are slowly taking hold in the country.

In 2018, biomass contributed 4% of Australia’s total energy usage.

 

Biomass in Australia

One material used for biomass is bagasse. Bagasse is leftover sugercane fibre from processing. It makes up 66.67% of the country’s bioenergy.

The energy obtained from biomass is mostly used to provide heat in homes, and unlike most of the world,  biodiesel/ethanol is not often manufactured in Australia, meaning that our cars still run on the average petroleum products.

At my school, we do not use any forms of biomass, however it is very likely that we will be installing solar panels on the new building that is currently being constructed. Petrol stations do not offer biodiesel/ethanol/biogas either, as mentioned before. My home currently runs on natural gas. Overall, biomass is still a tiny sector on the pie chart, but it has potential in the coming decades to rise in popularity.

In my opinion, I think that Australia should increase the percentage of renewable energy sources. This is because:

  • Even though the conversion from fossil fuels to sustainable energy would cost quite a lot, it seems like Australia’s economy can handle the financial pressure from the information given on the current COVID-19 pandemic. Although the government is having some trouble with money, the situation is not extremely severe and it shows that we can endure a difficult period of financial difficulty
  • The Earth is our home. If we realise the problems, but do nothing about it, this is the same as not realising in the first place. We must take action and save our planet before it’s too late
  • If we continue to hesitate between the switch, we will likely not do it at all, and thus completely waste the effort
  • The environment will also benefit from energy sources such as biofuel, as it recycles and uses many waste materials such as manure, municipal waste and more
  • A report for the International Renewable Energy Agency, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017, found the cost of electricity from biomass to be equal to that from onshore wind projects, and well within the range of maximum and minimum costs of fossil fuel generation. -ARENA

 

The Earth-our home, our birthplace-is at risk. We must consider the health of our planet, change our bad methods, change our attitude to converting to clean energy, and change for the better.

 

Photo: Sugarcane bagasse, taken by Thamizhpparithi Maari. Sourced from Wikimedia Commons under the license Creative Commons 3.0