Bioenergy standards underpin sustainability

Standards will support social responsible expansion of industry

The production and use of bioenergy have the potential roles of mitigating climate change, promoting energy security, and fostering economic and social development. More than 100 world bioenergy experts recently attended the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) Technical Committee 248 Sustainability Criteria for Bioenergy meeting in Queensland. This meeting was about further advancing the standards which underpin sustainability efforts and developing a harmonised approach which will support the social responsible expansion of this major industry.

Sustainable bioenergy is a critical issue for the biofuels industry. End users increasingly expect that bioenergy is produced in accordance with agreed sustainability criteria and requirements. At the same time land use, biodiversity, greenhouse gas emission, soil degradation, water use and socio economic issues are often mentioned problems in the context of bioenergy. 2nd generation biofuels made from non-food competing feedstocks represent one of the major industrial opportunities today for our planet in the sustainable energy technology field.

Australia has several comparative advantages that increase its potential to develop a sustainable and competitive bioenergy industry, including:

  • an abundance of sunlight, flat land and a climate suitable for growing dedicated energy crops
  • world-class expertise in agricultural science
  • a strength in natural resources and infrastructure industry development.

Standards Australia is a participating member of the ISO Project Committee. CFA representative Tracey Colley, who is active on the Australian Standards mirror committee EV-020 Sustainable criteria for bioenergy, participated in the ISO meeting in Queensland.