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Forestry to Fuel Debate on Growing Clean Energy

Forestry to Fuel Debate on Growing Clean Energy

The Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) welcomes the Greenpeace report that highlights the local energy supply opportunity which forest-based energy can provide. A national wood energy conference in April in Auckland sets out to grow the debate.

“Both forest contractors and managers are currently focused on exporting every last cubic metre of softwood log supply to China, Korea and India while the market demand is high. But right alongside there is a long-term opportunity to generate wood for energy from the wood residues which are not suitable for export markets,” says FIEA spokesman John Stulen.

“It’s great that local action in regional centres has already started. There’s a real focus on wood-for-energy markets. The Dunedin Energy Centre run by Energy-for-Industry is a great example of a wood supply market which is based on energy value for money, not just wood volume or weight.”

“Wood energy suppliers are now focused on supplying value through the energy they can guarantee to their buyers – like Otago University’s growing wood energy for campus heat,” added Mr Stulen.

The Forest Industry Engineering Association is running an international conference series on wood-for-energy in April in Auckland and Melbourne. Full programme details and early-bird registration rates are available at

Featuring international wood energy and clean energy experts from North America and the United Kingdom the conference offers wood energy managers and technical people a great chance to learn and network on industry growth.

Local big picture speakers include Phil O’Reilly, CEO for BusinessNZ and Duncan Stewart, CEO for Pure Advantage, both of whom have been advocating for more use of local energy sources such as wood.

European wood pellet buyers have grown demand for wood energy massively in the past year so it shows that wood energy market growth is going to be one of the first sectors to benefit from the end of the European recession. Once Europe is confident that they can manage the debt problems they’ve had – sustainability and clean energy go right to the top of the agenda for sustainable business growth. New Zealand industry needs to capitalise on this early growth.

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