Renewable diesel a crucial pitstop on road to net zero

Petrol and diesel bowser nozzles. | Newsreel
More focus is needed on the supply of renewable diesel. | iStock

An increased focus on renewable diesel is needed to support the construction industry on its path to net zero and decarbonisation.

A report released by the Australian Constructors Association (ACA) stated construction was a “hard to abate” sector and while electrification was the preferred decarbonisation pathway, technology constraints meant this would not be available in the short to medium term.

ACA CEO Jon Davies said Australia needed to rapidly adopt low carbon liquid fuels to bridge the gap until electric options mature.

Mr Davies said the best transition fuel for the construction industry was renewable diesel.

“ACA is calling for direct government policy intervention to rapidly accelerate both the supply and demand for renewable diesel in Australia,’’ he said.

“Renewable diesel enables necessary emission reductions in the short term without modifications to existing machinery.

“The problem is, there is currently no domestic renewable diesel production in Australia – this reflects a policy vacuum that lags other countries significantly.

“Importing renewable diesel is cost prohibitive relative to mineral diesel, making adoption a competitive disadvantage.”

ACA’s report reveals the domestic renewable diesel industry would have a range of additional benefits beyond construction decarbonisation, including lower air pollutants and better air quality, energy security, local employment and economic growth from both feedstock and refining.

The ACA called on the Australian Government to lead the development of a low carbon liquid fuel policy, which could take the form of a National Renewable Diesel Roadmap that charted a course for a sustainable domestic renewable diesel industry.

View ACA’s position paper on their website.