ABC News reported that the Tasmanian Resource Minister Paul Harris is pushing investment in biomass energy generation due to low hydro dam levels combined with the Bass Strait power cable cut to put pressure on many state industries.
The minister said that biomass, the burning of agricultural and forestry waste materials for power generation should be a central renewable energy plan. He also added that a biomass power station or power stations should be right in from and centre in terms of being part of the efforts in renewable energy in Tasmania. Damage to the Basslink cable and the low dam levels have increased the need behind the government’s effort in attracting investors.
The minister also added that the Southwood sawmill located in the Huon Valley was designed more than a decade ago to include a biomass plant and it is investment ready.
The State Government are trying to look for proposal for using forest wastes from southern forests through an expression of interest process that ends on February 17 of next year. Since the closure of the Triabunna wood chip mill, the woodchips have been taken by freight to the north for export.
According to the minister, exporting the residues arising from legitimate forestry operations is another best option. According to Labor Leader Bryan Green, the statements were little more than distraction from the energy challenges. He said that Mr. Harris has not delivered anything during his time as minister. He added that the Labor party has long been a supporter of biofuel, but if the minister is to be taken seriously, the minister must provide more details than just exploring options and other considerations.