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Unleashing the Bioenergy Bonanza

26 November 2008

Media Statement


Unleashing the Bioenergy Bonanza offers NZ Inc. Huge Opportunities

The Bioenergy Association of New Zealand has welcomed the new Minister of Energy and Resources and strongly encourages him to support business to unleash the immense wealth creation and competitive advantage that bioenergy offers the NZ economy.

The Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand, Brian Cox said “Supportive central and local government policies can assist New Zealand to achieve greater utilisation of its huge indigenous renewable energy resources. New Zealand is rich in renewable energy sources, and has the skills and technology to convert these abundant resources into heat, biogas, transport biofuels and electricity – and it is available here and now.”

Mr Cox added “For example, there are millions of tonnes of forest harvest residues that are currently lying wasted on the forest floor. This is actually a valuable resource and could be collected and converted into wood fuel for industrial heat. Similarly, various waste streams (slurries etc) from NZ’s extensive primary processing industries can be converted to low cost renewable energy sources.

Rob Mallinson, Chair of the Bioenergy Association, said “NZ has a huge opportunity to tap into low cost, low carbon energy sources that are currently wasted. Better use of these resources would provide NZ Inc with a more cost effective and sustainable energy infrastructure. This will increase our international competitiveness, reduce our net carbon emissions, and allow NZ exporters to not only counter the perceived issue of food miles, but actually increase market share by differentiation as a low carbon product. Other users can benefit from reducing their costs and environmental footprint.”

“The Bioenergy Association believes that this potential can best be realised through the association and government departments working closely together to understand the opportunities and formulate constructive policy that encourages this economic transition”

“The Bioenergy Association is keen to work with Government to ensuring a market for wood fuels quickly evolves, and that the market for transport biofuels is equitable for New Zealand based fuel producers.”

New Zealand can learn a lot from Europe, for example regarding successful mechanisms that result in privately-funded clean energy infrastructure projects. Good policy will boost such expenditure, especially if coupled to a fiscal stimulus package.
Mr Cox said “The bottom line is this - biofuels present a ‘win-win’ for New Zealand now and into the future. As over 30 years of evidence from Europe demonstrates, all forms of bioenergy are good for business, security of energy supply, waste utilisation, employment levels, sustainability and economic growth.”

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 is in widespread use across all sectors of NZ energy use by 2020.”
- has over 300 hundred members working across the length and breadth of the various fuel supply chains.
- provides a central focus point for liaison with Government agencies, the dissemination of information amongst the industry and long-term positioning of bioenergy into New Zealand's energy system.

- works closely with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA)
- has four Interest Groups which enables a focus on key areas:
- Liquid Biofuels
- Wood Pellets
- Biogas
- Wood Fuel.

Further Details
For further information see www.bioenergy.org.nz or contact:

ENDS

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