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BANZ welcomes Green Party Climate Protection Plan

Bioenergy Association welcomes Green Party Climate Protection Plan

The Bioenergy Association of New Zealand (BANZ) today welcomed the Green Party’s announcement of a Climate Protection Plan , saying it will help create green jobs and foster and economic growth as well as protect the climate .

“The Green Party’s Climate Protection Plan will encourage use of our natural resources such as the biomass from forestry and waste, which will open up bioenergy opportunities for business growth and employment that are currently being missed.”

Mr Brian Cox, the Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association said “In particular the Bioenergy Association agrees that adoption of the policy would provide business certainty and encourage heat users to transition from using coal to wood fuel. Such a transition would also improve our international trade advantages.”

The Climate Protection Plan includes a number of complementary measures including those related to bioenergy.

“It is good to see that the complementary measures announced by the Greens would assist business to adopt renewable energy technologies. Some of what the Green Party is proposing would not only assist individual businesses but would assist regional economic development, create additional employment and provide
opportunities for Maori land owners. Switching to wood fuel provides a number of environmental and climate change benefits which come free when the economics are right.”

Mr Cox said that “New Zealand’s forestry sector has significant quantities of wood that would otherwise go to waste and there are real opportunities to turn this into heat. However, it is difficult for regions to develop a renewable resource without businesses committed to using it. It is also difficult to persuade industrial and commercial heat users to switch to renewables without an assured supply. Policies that provide certainty will encourage heat plant owners to make the move.”

Mr Cox said that “The Bioenergy Association was already pursuing a number of bioenergy initiatives that would have a significant contribution to climate change but the association’s resources are limited and it is not able to fund all the work that should be done. Without financialt assistance the opportunities will not be achieved for some years – with Government financial assistance through the complementary mechanisms support we can start getting the employment, economic growth and environmental benefits almost immediately.”

“A sound and stronger bioenergy programme can contribute around $6billion annually to the economy as New Zealand has immense untapped potential for bioenergy, particularly from our forests, dairy sector and municipal waste. A strong local bioenergy industry would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and also bring huge economic and social benefits through increased employment. It would also go a long way to increasing New Zealand’s contribution to climate change reduction.”

Mr Cox added, “Bioenergy is often based on well proven technology and so doesn’t require research or low probability exploration such as for petroleum, but what it needs is facilitation so as to speed up growth of the market.”

Background

The Bioenergy Association:

• Mission Statement is “to promote the maximum utilisation of all forms of sustainable bioenergy in New Zealand”.

• Vision is that “Bioenergy in all its forms will supply more than 25% of the country’s energy needs, including 30% of the country’s transport fuels by around 2040.”

• Has commissioned work by BERL which shows that the achievement of the vision above is worth around $6billion annually to NZ http://www.bioenergy.org.nz/documents/Homepage/BERL-report-to-BANZ-Preliminary-EIA-of-NZBioenergy-Strategy.pdf

• Has over members working across the length and breadth of the various supply chains.

• provides the following services:

o Advocacy: BANZ represents the sector to central and local government to ensure that there is a sound investment environment for bioenergy investments.

o Business services: BANZ hosts a number of webinars, workshops and conferences to bring the most up-to-date information and experiences to members. It also prepares and publishes technical guides and other publications to assist members provide a first class service to their clients.

o Public outreach: BANZ is the voice of bioenergy to the public, the media, and policy makers.

We work to assist those of the public interested in bioenergy based initiatives to understand how the use of appropriately trained and experienced people and equipment will allow them to successfully manage risks so as to have successful projects.

• Works closely with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and other government

agencies

• Has four Interest Groups which enables a focus on key areas:

o Liquid Biofuels

o Wood Pellets

o Biogas

o Wood Fuel.

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