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Bioenergy Association welcomes Greenpeace’s report

Embargoed until 10am 11 February 2013


Bioenergy Association of New Zealand welcomes Greenpeace’s report into New Zealand’s ability to move to a new clean economy.

In particular BANZ notes the report's emphasis on bioenergy as a means to achieving a New Zealand clean energy future

Speaking today, Mr Brian Cox, Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand (BANZ) said that “BANZ welcomes the release today of Greenpeace's report The Future is here – New Jobs, New Prosperity and a New Clean Economy. The report highlights the important role of renewable energy – and in particular bioenergy – in New Zealand's future energy mix.”

Mr Cox added “BANZ shares Greenpeace's belief in the need to pursue new jobs from renewable energy sources. This will both improve New Zealand's energy security and help improve our international economic competitiveness The report highlights how our existing skills in areas such as bioenergy, as well as continued development and investment in the industry, will help the New Zealand capatilise on the journey towards a cleaner, greener economy.”

“In an economic environment where jobs in traditional sectors are fast disappearing we encourage the Government to try a new approach. The Prime Minister appointed the Hon Simon Bridges to the position of Minister of Energy and Resources with a mandate to identify new policies. This is his opportunity to identify a new energy policy for Government – one based on creating jobs.”

The Greenpeace report specifically makes mention that the potential for bioenergy in New Zealand is significant. The study found that biomass could potentially account for 53% of our liquid fuel needs by 2050. The report notes how strong government leadership, working in conjunction with the private sector, is what’s needed to drive investment in bioenergy.

New Zealand's international branding relies heavily being clean and green and biomass offers a way for New Zealand to help give credit to this reputation. The report puts a specific emphasis on getting good government leadership in order to give confidence to the market.

Mr Cox added that “BANZ, as an industry group, has been undertaking its own analysis of the opportunities and has led the development of an industry driven Bioenergy Strategy which indicates that on an economic basis 25% of NZ energy supply could be supplied from bioenergy by 2040. This would be a $6billion industry for New Zealand and would provide jobs and economic stimulus throughout New Zealand.”

Mr Cox said “BANZ looks forward to engaging with Minister Bridges to establish new policies for Government that achieve the employment potential outlined in the Greenpeace report. New Zealand's clean and green image is one of our main competitive advantages in the international market place. Maintaining that image is important for many areas of the New Zealand economy. This report indicates that bioenergy is a key part of our economic future.”

Mr Cox added, “Wood fuel can supply the full range of commercial heat requirements, from relatively small heat users such as hotels, right up to the largest users such as meat and dairy processors. In addition wood from forest harvest or processing residues could, by 2040, supply 30% of our transport fuel. Economic growth and security of energy supply from bioenergy go hand in hand”

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