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Wood fuel becomes a mainstream energy winner

Wood fuel becomes a mainstream energy winner

“The announcement by Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources that a flower nursery, K&L Nurseries, using wood fuel to produce heat for its operations is a Supreme Award Winner shows that wood has become a mainstream energy source.,” said the Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association today.

The Minister presented K&L Nurseries with the Supreme Award at the 2014 EECA Awards ceremony tonight.

Speaking today, Mr Brian Cox, Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand (BANZ) said “There really is no better time to be considering the use of forest harvest and wood processing residues as a fuel for hospitals, institutional and industrial heat applications. K&L Nurseries should be congratulated for their recognition that they can get reliable and cost effective energy from wood. Currently approximately 10-15% of harvested wood is wasted and this is an economic loss to the country as well as lost opportunities for companies to future proof their energy supply.”

Mr Cox said that “It should be no surprise that a plant nursery is moving from coal to wood for its energy as New Zealand is well endowed with adequate supplies of wood residue that can be used for energy. Wood for use as a fuel is usually locally available, the heat plant technology is proven and its application requires no research.”

“It is also no surprise that the Minister was making this award tonight as only a week ago at a sector conference in Rotorua he was offering Government assistance to speed up the uptake of wood fuel by industry. With such Government support for the growth in the use of wood fuel, industry can have confidence to move from using coal to wood fuel for heating. There also needs to be a greater recognition across Government agencies themselves that by not using the wood residues for the heating of hospitals, schools and say our prisons, that we are not maximising the opportunities for employment, regional economic growth and environmental benefits. It is hoped that the award tonight
will encourage local and central government who are extensive heat users to consider converting existing coal plant to be fuelled by wood.”

“The Association has a vision in its Bioenergy Strategy that 25% of our energy supply can come from biomass and municipal organic waste by 2040. It is good to see that Auckland Council has adopted a similar vision and it is hoped that the Government’s recognition of wood fuel will assist other businesses plus territorial authorities to do the same.”

“Analysis by BERL has shown that implementation of the Bioenergy Strategy could
ontribute an additional $6 billion to the New Zealand economy.”

“Wood fuel can supply the full range of commercial heat requirements, from relatively small heat users such as hotels and plant nurseries, right up to the largest users such as meat and dairy processors.”

“With the amount of sustainable forestry resources and wood residue streams generated all over the country, wood fuel is a very viable and low cost alternative. It also creates local jobs and is carbon neutral, so is a good long term financial decision, a good risk management decision and a good initiative for the local community.”

Mr Cox said that "In the longer term the available wood resource can also provide transport fuel. The New Zealand Bioenergy Strategy has identified that by 2040 30% of our transport fuel could be coming from biofuels. Economic growth and security of energy supply from bioenergy go hand in hand. It is great to see small businesses such as K&L Nurseries leading the way. Hopefully larger heat users will follow.”

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