Australia removes forest biomass from renewable energy program

By Erin Voegele | January 04, 2023

The government of Australia on Dec. 16 announced that native forest biomass will no longer be considered as an “eligible renewable energy source” for the purposes of the country’s Renewable Energy Target.

The Australian government in 2015 allowed native forest biomass to participate in the program. According to information released by Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen, the decision to exclude native woody biomass from participating in the program was made as part of a public consultation process that included more than 2,900 submissions. As a result of the change, electricity generated using native forest biomass cannot be used to create tradable large-scale generation certificates under the Renewable Energy Target program.

The updated regulations are focused only on eligibility under the Renewable Energy Target and do not otherwise regulate or restrict sustainable native forest industries. The government also indicated that transitional arrangements have been put in place for one Western Australian facility that had registered to use the energy source.

The Renewable Energy Target is a scheme that aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the electricity sector. Additional information is available on the Australian Government website