The Diesel Transition: Petroleum diesel alternatives for the Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector

The Diesel Transition: Petroleum diesel alternatives for the Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector

Agriculture has a significant role to play in helping the country meet the Australian Government’s target of a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2050. Considered one of the hard-to-abate sectors, transformative change needs to occur across agriculture, fisheries and forestry to achieve this. Concurrently, the growing global demand for food and the Australian Government’s ambitious Ag2030 vision will increase production, undoubtably leading to an increase in the sector’s energy use. 

The consumption of energy across agriculture, fisheries and forestry is heavily biased to petroleum diesel fuels, and recent price volatility and diesel fuel security concerns have highlighted just how vulnerable farmers, fishers and foresters are because of this reliance. While there are many hurdles that must be overcome to enable the transition away from diesel-powered equipment, there is also significant opportunity associated with shifting to more secure and affordable energy alternatives. Transition will require a long lead time and provisions to support incumbent systems.  

To help us better understand what alternative energy options are most suitable for Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries, and to comprehend what is required to support this transformational change, AgriFutures Australia engaged Acclimate Partners to review how long change might take and what regulations and policies are required to ensure industries can continue to function during the transition. 

Given the complexity of moving away from diesel, this report considers the services and skills required to ensure a smooth transition, and informs industry, policymakers and all levels of government about the policy settings required. 

This project has involved significant regional and industry consultation, including with other diesel-reliant industries such as mining and freight. The report considers what farmers, fisheries and foresters’ current and future needs are, and the intersection with the specific regions in which they operate. 

While we acknowledge a national diesel transition plan requires further development, this report provides initial priority areas for consideration, and we see it as a catalyst to engaging in sector-wide discussion about the diesel transition. 

This project was led by Acclimate Partners with the AFI being a partner organisation. Funding was provided by AgriFutures Australia.  

Related Products

Published 5 Apr 2023

After years of consecutive natural disasters, reliance on insurance as a primary (or sole) risk mitigation strategy has left regional Australia vulnerable. Cost and access issues are forcing a rethink on how the worsening climate impacts are managed, from both customers’ and product providers’ perspectives. With the stark consequences of…

Published 5 Apr 2023

Modern farming faces risk from many factors ranging from expensive and scarce inputs, volatile commodity prices, worker shortages, and an increasingly variable climate. Facing these challenges involve a combination of what growers do in the paddock, mixed with products to help where ‘farming’ can’t and a spattering of government assistance…

Please sign up to receive AFI updates

Before downloading, please sign up for news on AFI research, events and publications.

Sign up for news on AFI research, events and publications