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Biofuels used in NZ are sustainable

Biofuels used in NZ are sustainable

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) says biofuels used in New Zealand are sustainable.

Elizabeth Yeaman, Team Manager, Renewables and Energy Supply, EECA, says the recently released OECD report, Economic Assessment of Biofuel Support Policies, shows the importance of strong sustainability requirements for biofuels accompanying any mandated introduction of biofuel blends, and reinforces that biofuels are not all equal.

The report places particular attention on the situation in Europe, Canada and the US, where potential food production is being transferred to the production of ethanol.

In New Zealand, biofuels are currently sourced from either by-products of existing domestic industry or from Brazilian sugar cane which, as noted in the report, is one of the most sustainable biofuel options available on the global market.

Gull and Mobil are already selling sustainable bioethanol blended petrol.

“So far, Gull is using bioethanol made by Fonterra from dairy by-product and Mobil is using imported Brazilian bioethanol made from sugar cane which is grown more than 2,000 km south of the Amazon rainforest,” she says.

The Biofuel Bill currently being considered by Parliament proposes that all biofuels sold in New Zealand:

* Emit significantly less greenhouse gas over their life cycle than fossil fuels
* Do not compete with food production
* Do not reduce indigenous biodiversity or adversely affect land with high conservation values, such as rainforests.

It is possible to meet our energy needs in New Zealand with biofuels that do not compete with food sources and do not result in rainforest being cut down, both now and in the future.

“It’s important to remember too that the rising price of oil has had a significant effect on food prices. The price of oil has jumped more than 60 percent compared to an increase of 6.8 percent in food prices for the year ended May,” says Ms Yeaman.

For more information on biofuel sustainability in New Zealand visit


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