From: Scoop Independent News - 28/08/2008
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) welcomes a report released today which shows biomass material from purpose-grown New Zealand forests has great potential to be used as a future source of sustainable biofuels.
Bioenergy Options for New Zealand; a pathways analysis has estimated that theoretically, New Zealand has enough medium to low productivity grazing land, not suitable for crop production, to plant as forests and make New Zealand self-sufficient in transport fuel.
Elizabeth Yeaman, Team Manager, Renewables and Energy Supply, EECA, says New Zealand can reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by using renewable fuels, including sustainable biofuel produced in our own backyard.
“The report shows that New Zealand has an abundance of land available that if managed correctly and with the assistance of technology, we can use to produce sustainable biofuels.
“Worldwide, research and investment is focusing on the development of second generation biofuels – biofuels produced using innovative new biotechnologies, often taking waste products as the feedstock. New Zealand’s long term focus is on sustainable ways of producing these second generation biofuels.
‘The technology already exists to turn biomass into ethanol, and although not currently economic, the future looks really good for transport fuels made from our own forests
Parliament is currently considering the Biofuels Bill which will make it compulsory that by 2012, 2.5 percent of the petrol and diesel oil companies sell must be biofuels.
For more information on biofuel sustainability in New Zealand visit www.biofuels.govt.nz.