We began assessing the feasibility of a bioenergy facility in the Byron Shire in 2017 (2013 as a region). The timeline on this page provides a snapshot of the process so far.
Bioenergy facilities have been running successfully for decades in the US and parts of Europe using dry anaerobic digestion, helping these countries to convert their organic waste into clean and green renewable energy and reduce emissions.
There are currently no dry anaerobic digestion bioenergy facilities operating in Australia. Our aim is to be the first and to lead the way for other organisations to take responsibility for their organic waste using this process.
The proposed location for the Byron Shire Bioenergy facility is on council-land at the Byron Sewage Treatment Plant (STP).
Being able to process our own green bin (organic) waste means not having to send it out of the region, removing hundreds of thousands of kilometres of truck movements each year and significantly reducing our carbon footprint and emissions.
The renewable energy produced by the bioenergy facility would power our Byron Sewage Treatment Plant operations nearby – again reducing our emissions and cutting Council’s electricity bills.
Our development application (DA) for the bioenergy facility was approved by the Northern Regional Planning Panel in May 2022.
Now that we have a viable proposal and approval for development, we are now looking at financing models.
This includes exploring options for commercial partnerships and grants.
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What is bioenergy?
Bioenergy is converting organic waste into clean and green renewable energy. It’s known as a closed-loop carbon cycle, because the carbon created will end up as plant matter and stays within the system.
Dry anaerobic digestion uses oxygen-free conditions to break down organic matter inside a contained facility. The resulting biogas is converted into energy.
Dry anaerobic digestion of organic waste DOES NOT use burning or incineration in the digestion process. Bioenergy facilities use biomethane as a renewable fuel for electricity generation and have a lower carbon emissions footprint than composting.
The Byron Bioenergy Facility would NOT USE forestry waste.
These are the steps in the bio-energy process.
- Organic waste is collected and broken down.
- Gases are contained and captured.
- Then the gases are converted into renewable energy.
- This results in green energy, a compost product and carbon emission reduction.
The infographic steps out this process.