Challenges to industry development Cost of harvest and haulage largest hurdle –Prototype harvesters under development – Initial cost biomass cost offsets? Ongoing sustainability considerations – early reliance on stored soil moisture / nutrients – productivity decline long-term – Net C balance of roots
Transforming agriculture Environmental benefits to farms and regions• Provide salinity and biodiversity benefits• Smart belt placement can improve water and nutrient balances• Neutral or positive carbon balance• Viable industry will displace fossil fuels emissions to 1.3 MT CO2-e / year
Transforming agriculture Economic benefits to farmers• Improved animal welfare – shelter from elements• Diversify farm incomes – complement existing agriculture• Maintains cash flow – regular harvests• Stability of yield – lower year on year risk• Higher total productivity – use of excess resources
Transforming agriculture Economic benefits to regions• New regional industries – harvesting, transporting and processing• Provide local base-load power to regional areas reducing transmission losses• Improved energy security• Mallees for bioenergy will be strategically important for Australias renewable energy future
Key references• Future Farm Industries CRC (2010) Energy Tree Crops: Renewable energy from biomass could be the driver to large scale adoption of woody crops and to structural improvement to dryland agricultural systems in Australia• Bartle, J. Abadi, A. (2010) Toward Sustainable Production of Second Generation Bioenergy Feedstocks. Energy Fuels 24, 2–9.