01Performance

CEFC ANNUAL REPORT / 2015–16

Australian Bioenergy Fund

The Australian Bioenergy Fund is a new equity fund for bioenergy and energy-from-waste, targeting local government, mining, forestry and agriculture.

Project scope

The CEFC is providing a cornerstone commitment of $100 million to the Australian Bioenergy Fund, which is also targeting additional private sector equity investment. The fund is managed by Foresight Group,a leading infrastructure and private equity investment manager.

Much of the opportunity in the sector consists of small-scale operations that have found it difficult to attract institutional investors. The fund is targeting investments in projects from $2 million to $100 million, ranging from small-scale anaerobic digestion to mid-scale energy-from-waste developments.

Progress report

The Australian Bioenergy Fund is expected to play an important role in accelerating and widening market uptake of bioenergy and energy-from-waste technologies that have a proven track record overseas. These technologies are not yet widely deployed in Australia. Foresight has built a strong project pipeline and is in the process of raising the matching equity for these projects.

Looking to the future

The CEFC Market Report: The Australian bioenergy and energy from waste market identified some 800MW of potential new generation capacity in bioenergy in the next five years, requiring as much as $5 billion in new investment.

Lower waste and energy costs, energy security in remote areas and reducing dependence on natural gas and diesel are some of the potential benefits for Australian businesses when they embrace bioenergy.

Australia has some 114 bioenergy and waste from energy plants in operation, with a total of 812 MW of installed capacity. However while OECD countries source 2.4 per cent of their electricity output from bioenergy, this is just 0.9 per cent for Australia.

 

For Foresight, the Australia Bioenergy Fund presents the perfect opportunity to develop a presence in the Australian market. We very much look forward to working in partnership with CEFC to develop these projects over the coming years and to unlocking the potential of renewable energy in the Australian landscape. Foresight Group Partner
Nigel Aitchison