Record-breaking bioenergy investment in Victoria

Published: 1 July 2022
Cows grazing in a paddock with a bioenergy plant in the background.

On behalf of the Victorian Government, Sustainability Victoria is delivering $10 million to encourage investment in the state’s bioenergy sector – the biggest ever Victorian grant funding investment in bioenergy.

The Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy will support projects that create bioenergy from organic waste. The output of which may be electricity, heat, gas or liquid fuels. The fund is expected to deliver an additional 5,000 kW to Victoria’s renewable energy production. Funding is also available to develop end uses for the residual products created by the treatment process.

The program will support organisations to dispose of waste in an environmentally friendly way while reducing their operational costs, including energy bills. Projects will process waste that would have otherwise gone to landfill, or been disposed of in a way that does not leverage its value as an energy source, such as crop residue burning.

Who is eligible for funding

A wide range of sectors will be supported by the fund, including:

  • agricultural and livestock
  • forestry
  • food production
  • food retail
  • wastewater management.

Residential kerbside waste is not included. Eligible organisations can apply to Sustainability Victoria for grants to scope out and implement projects that use organic waste to produce bioenergy.

Funding will support projects at different stages of their development through 2 streams:

Stream 1 will support projects to scope, test and gain approvals to achieve the pre-financial close phases of a bioenergy project. Applicants can apply for grants of between $20,000 and $250,000.

Stream 2 will support projects with a proven business case to purchase, construct, and commission infrastructure to convert organic matter into bioenergy. Applicants can apply for grants of between $50,000 and $1 million.

Applications close at 11:59 pm on 26 August 2022.

Information sessions

To learn more about the Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy, read the information bulletins for Stream 1: Project development and Stream 2: Project infrastructure.

Building on previous success

In 2016 and 2019, Sustainability Victoria funded bioenergy projects through the Waste to Energy (W2E) Infrastructure Fund and Bioenergy Infrastructure Fund. Recipients from these programs are continuing to create bioenergy from organic waste, including Western Water’s waste to energy facility in Melton.

The facility uses anaerobic digestion to extract biogas from organic waste, such as fruit and vegetable scraps or oils and fats. This is then converted into electricity which powers the facility itself and other Western Water sites. This reduces reliance on the grid and electricity costs.

The big picture

In November of 2021, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), published the Australian Bioenergy Roadmap. It states that bioenergy currently accounts for 3% of Australia’s total energy consumption, but it has the potential to provide up to 20% by the 2050s. This program of funding will help to accelerate this transition in Victoria.

Victoria’s commitment

The Victorian Government is committed to halving organic waste to landfill by 2030, as outlined in its circular economy policy, Recycling Victoria: a new economy.

It also has an ambitious goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, which include 40% renewable energy capacity by 2025 and 50% by 2030. The Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy will support projects that will contribute to both of these goals.