Wood for energy seen as key

Wednesday 5 Sep 2018

“The time for talking is now over and it is now time to take action,” says Brian Cox, Executive Officer for the Bioenergy Association in a review of the report from the Productivity Commission into a low- emissions economy. “The Productivity Commission has set out in a very clear manner the main opportunity areas for taking action to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. It has also identified key policy areas which should be addressed. We now need to act on these and many are low cost and easy to achieve.”

Mr Cox says that “It is encouraging that the Commission has recognised that the opportunities from utilising wood residues and waste for the production of energy are based on proven technologies, and except for in the transport area, does not involve a lot of investment and research.” “It is also encouraging that the Commission has recommended to Government that it should move to ban the use of fossil fuels in its own energy facilities such as school and prison heating. By Government showing leadership by eliminating its own fossil fuel consumption this will set a good role model for the private sector to follow.”

Mr Cox says, “The Commission has recommended urgent action if we are to achieve the 2050 target. It says that this is possible. Each year we see an increase in the number of new biomass fuelled heating facilities being installed throughout the country. We see the capability of the industry supplying biomass fuel increasing as demand for the fuel increases. There are few barriers that are not manageable so leadership from Government will provide even greater stimulus to replacing coal use for making process heat.”

“We also see the number of Councils such as Auckland who are already collecting separated food waste which could be converted into making the electricity which all those electric vehicles are going to need. Converting organic waste into useable biogas will reduce the discharge of methane as a greenhouse gas, into the air. Waste to energy is technically possible but management of the waste streams will be necessary before it can become wide spread. That will require leadership from local government. However as cities like Vancouver are already showing – it is easy and doesn’t cost a lot of money – just leadership.”

“The Productivity Commission report provides a good framework for action and builds on what is already occurring. We just need to put more effort into the low hanging opportunities such as from bioenergy.”

Source: Bioenergy Association


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