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Website to help forest industry cash in on waste

Jeanette Fitzsimons

Government Spokesperson on Energy Efficiency

14 December 2006 Media Statement

Website to help forest industry cash in on waste

A new web-based service which will promote the use of forest waste for energy was launched today by Jeanette Fitzsimons, Government Spokesperson on Energy and Conservation.

The Bioenergy Knowledge Centre provides tools and information to make it easier for forest owners to use wood waste as a renewable energy source.

The Bioenergy Knowledge Centre consists of three major components:

* A web-based service that allows people to search for information on wood waste opportunities (www.bioenergy-gateway.org.nz)

* National and international information and case studies

* A pool of experts accessible via a call centre to assist evaluation of wood waste opportunities (0800 BIOENERGY)

"When forests are harvested as much as 20 percent of wood residue can be left behind to rot or is discarded as waste. There is huge potential for this waste to be used for energy production," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"The knowledge centre will help develop the market for wood waste in New Zealand, potentially enabling growers to cash in on harvesting what is otherwise product waste."

Wood waste can be used in industrial burners or in the form of pellets for heating our homes and schools. In the future, wood waste may be used for the production of transport fuels.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is coordinating an initiative to support forestry bioenergy projects during the next three years, working with an advisory group of forest industry representatives.

The three keys areas of activity include grant funding for feasibility studies, research engineering solutions for the recovery of woody biomass residue from the forest and the development of the Bioenergy Knowledge Centre.

'The government encourages industry to visit the website, www.bioenergy-gateway.org.nz', said Ms Fitzsimons.

ENDS

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