Small, community-based biomass energy systems (up to 1 MW of thermal or electrical energy capacity) sourcing feedstocks from local waste wood streams are common in many northern hemisphere countries and are increasingly deployed in New Zealand. In both urban and rural settings throughout these countries, many of these woody biomass energy systems are building an excellent track record of efficient and reliable application in businesses, schools, universities, hospitals and a range of other community facilities. These system deployments generate many socioeconomic and environmental sustainability benefits for investors and local communities. In Australia, small-scale biomass energy systems remain a vastly underutilised renewable energy technology. Using multiple data sources, this paper aims to raise awareness and understanding of small-scale biomass energy systems and their potential for application in the Sunshine Coast region of south-east Queensland. The research highlights opportunities and challenges for industry development in this region. There are numerous suitable local business and community facility applications, and supplies of waste wood from local hardwood plantations, woody weed control programs, landfill diversions and arborist and timber processing businesses are potentially available for use as bioenergy fuel. However, integrated supply chains for the economically viable delivery of these feedstocks in suitable forms to local plants require further research and development.
IUFRO Research Group 3.08 Small-scale Forestry Conference, Sunshine Coast, Australia 11-15 October 2015
Small-scale and Community Forestry and the Changing Nature of Forest Landscapes, Proceedings from the IUFRO Research Group 3.08 Small-scale Forestry Conference / Meadows, John, Harrison, Steve R, Herbohn, John (eds): pp.150-168