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New initiative to increase renewable energy in Southland

New initiative to increase renewable energy in Southland


Minister of Energy and Resources Simon Bridges today announced the establishment of a renewable heat hub initiative in Southland to increase the uptake of renewable energy.

“Business heat accounts for approximately 30 per cent of New Zealand’s energy use, with around two-thirds generated from fossil fuels,” Mr Bridges says.

“By encouraging businesses to switch to renewable energy sources, such as wood, to generate their heat, we can significantly reduce New Zealand’s carbon emissions.

“Wood energy has a zero carbon footprint, and can be used instead of coal or gas in many situations.

“Southland has a significant forestry and wood processing industry, which generates 300,000 tonnes of wood waste each year.

“This wood waste could be cost-effectively used for industrial and commercial heat processes, but it is currently overlooked because of uncertainty in the market. Potential users are concerned about certainty of supply, and potential suppliers are unsure whether the demand justifies investment.

“The renewable heat hub initiative will see the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) work with suppliers and users in Southland to overcome this barrier.

“The Government will invest $1.5 million over three years to encourage uptake of renewable heat, with private investment expected to match or better this funding.

The initiative is expected to save 8,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, which is equivalent to taking 2,500 cars off the road. Over the lifetime of the measures almost 200,000 tonnes of CO2 will be saved," Mr Bridges says.
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