Information Sheet 46: Actions to reduce use of fossil fuels for process heat

Actions to reduce use of fossil fuels for process heat and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

Reducing the use of fossil fuels for process and space heating can be by cofiring biomass in existing medium/large heat plant, or by replacing the existing gas or coal plant as it ages. It is expected that new heat plant will only use renewable fuels of electricity or biomass.

There is adequate biomass potentially available as fuel in all regions and increased demand will encourage expansion of the biomass fuel supply. Sources of biomass from forestry, wood processing and agricultural sectors will also widen with increased demand.

Medium sized heat plant in government owned facilities such as in education, prisons and municipal swimming pools will be early conversions as their size matches local fuel supply, and there are strong community drivers around regional development. Installations of biomass fuelled medium sized plant in manufacturing, food processing and horticulture will expand on the back of sustainable business drivers. Larger heat plant will use co-firing as a transition path while the biomass fuel supply market expands.

Up to 20 PJ of coal and gas energy conversions could occur resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 1800 kt CO2-e pa by 2050[1].  By 2050 biomass energy used in process and space heating could increase from the current 11% of total consumer energy to 16%.

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[1] Compared to 2017

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