Image

Bioenergy is the solution for keeping lights on

27 June 2022

The lack of electricity supply security because of thermal generation plant unavailability reinforces the importance of the need for an integrated Energy Strategy in New Zealand. Greater use of bioenergy and biofuels which are storable energy forms would ensure that electricity supply can be optimised says the Bioenergy Association.

Brian Cox, Executive officer of the Bioenergy Association says that “the news that Transpower had to declare an electricty supply emergency situation indicates a significant weakness in the energy market if there is too much reliance on electricity for decarbonisation. Electricity should only be used for where it is the ideal option. Not only is bioenergy and biofuels a long term sustainable source of storable energy, with sound forward planning it is available everywhere. Recent work has shown that there can be adequate biomass available to meet demand for biofuels.”

Cox said that “Bioenergy from wood chip and pellets uses technology which is proven and off the shelf so doesn’t need research and is quick to install. It can often be a drop-in fuel as Fonterra has shown at its Te Awamutu milk processing facility where conversion from coal to wood pellets was able to be done quickly and with minimal capital expenditure (as covered in last week’s issue).”

“Renewable diesel can be used to firm electricty supply. Renewable diesel is also a drop-in fuel so can be used immediately in existing vehicle engines with no need to replace the vehicle, unlike for electrity and hydrogen. We could have Kiwirail on a low emissions fuel within months with no need to replace engines or build infrastructure. It is assessed that the fuel cost premium of using renewable diesel would be less than the Government and vehicle owners are spending on electrification of transport, so if Government were serious about decarbonisation it would investigate this option.”

“Government’s new focus on using organic wastes to produce beneficial products, such as energy and biofertiliser, would also allow production of biomethane which can augment our declining natural gas reserves.”

Cox said that “The growing shortages of electricity show New Zealand is going to have to embark on a large new power station building programme and that will push the cost of electricity up so decarbonisation using electricty will not be cheap. The alternative is that biomass is already available and otherwise being left on the forest floor or exported. In addition, farm forestry has enormous potential for providing biomass for energy and improving land management. This will also increase employment and ensure that we transition to a more sustainable agriculture with consequences for improved sustainable world trade.”

Source: Bioenergy Association of NZ

Read More
Image

FIEA wood residues conference: time for action

Low carbon economies, extreme weather events, and building resilient domestic supply chains are critical issues in 2024 and beyond. In New Zealand, this has created opportunities for the forestry sector, including significant investments in forest residues. Harvesting regulations are mandating more wood be collected from the forest ...
Read more
Image

Successful trials of remote-controlled wood chip scraper

Nippon Paper, trucking company Iwakuni Sangyo Unyu successfully trial remote-controlled robot that scrapes wood chips in hold of wood-chip carrier at Iwakuni mill; scraping robot aims to address safety, workforce shortage in wood-chip scraping operations Through the development of the ...
Read more
Image

When it all falls down

This video tells the story of how New Zealand Forest Managers (NZFM) in Turangi, New Zealand dealt with a 3.4million + ton wind blow event in the central north island. In the video everything from before the cyclone in Feb ...
Read more
Image

NZ$300 million torrefied wood pellet planned

Plans to build New Zealand’s first plant to produce low emissions fossil free fuel to replace coal have moved a step closer with the signing of an agreement to lease a site at Kawerau. Australian listed company Foresta has announced the signing of ...
Read more
Image

Blenheim company turning wood chips into graphite

In New Zealand, a Blenheim company is turning wood chips and sawdust into graphite to be used in EV batteries. CarbonScape was founded in 2006 – with a focus on making carbon products using waste biomass like wood chips to ...
Read more
Image

Cheese from trees: Fonterra running on wood biomass

Fonterra’s Stirling manufacturing site is celebrating becoming the Co-op’s first manufacturing site in the South Island to get off coal and the first site to be running on 100% renewable thermal energy.  Moving to wood biomass means a reduction of 18,500 tonnes ...
Read more
Image

99% of Northland’s energy could be met through biomass

A new report, published by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority), shows the significant role currently unutilised, forestry residues could play – as the region reduces its reliance on fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy. Up to 99% of Northland’s ...
Read more
Image

NZ forestry industry establishing pan sector body

Ten organisations have signed an accord establishing as a pan sector body. Called the NZ Forest & Wood Sector Forum (NZFWSF), NZ sector associations will engage on issues of common interest or concern to the national industry and act as a ...
Read more
Image

Wood biomass boiler swings into action

Fonterra’s NZ Waitoa manufacturing site is now using around 50% less coal as its new wood biomass boiler swings into action. Waitoa is the third Fonterra manufacturing site to reduce coal in 2023, as part of the Co-op’s plan to ...
Read more