Bioenergy Australia appoints new CEO to drive and expand national agenda
Bioenergy Australia has recently appointed a new chief executive officer to drive its commitment to bioenergy featuring prominently in the energy strategies and policies of all tiers of government.
Shahana McKenzie joins Bioenergy Australia from the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), where she successfully led a restructure to increase the relevance and impact of the landscape architecture industry.
McKenzie’s experience is as a reformist CEO and her appointment will see the economic, environmental and community benefits bioenergy offers as an important component of the national energy market.
McKenzie met with all sides of politics at Parliament House in Canberra to discuss the benefits of, and options for, the bioenergy industry in Australia.
“We will also promote the benefits of converting power stations from coal-fired to utilising biomass such as waste wood or a hybrid power source, which is a readily available solution that generates power and jobs while making significant reductions to carbon emissions,” says McKenzie.
“In addition to benefits for the environment, retro-fitting power stations and changing energy sources will see regional areas benefit from increased jobs and drive needed economic growth. The bio product and services market is expected to be worth US $1.1 trillion by 2022 and we are committed to ensuring that Australian businesses have a meaningful position there.”
Biomass delivers a reliable and renewable energy source, and can deliver base load power 24 hours a day. However, its benefits are not clearly understood in Australia’s energy politics, policies and programs.
McKenzie says the inclusion of bioenergy in the South Australian Government’s recently released Renewable Technology Fund is greatly encouraging for the future of the sector. “Additionally, both Queensland and New South Wales have biofuel mandates for the use of ethanol and biodiesel, and are reaping the benefits in lowering emissions from transport fuels. I see no reason why the inclusion of bioenergy in policy across all three tiers of government could not occur when you see its benefits.
“Geographically, Australia is ideal to take advantage of bioenergy. All states and territories enjoy the resources needed to make the most of the clean energy and job opportunities it offers. I’m looking forward to creating that agreement as we begin meeting with key political and industry leaders, along with communities around Australia,” concludes McKenzie.