Information Sheet 32: GHG reduction using wood energy for heat

Bioenergy Association has investigated the opportunities for switching from fossil fuels to wood fuel for heat supply, and assessed the contribution this could make to greenhouse gas mitigation. Three scenarios have been developed of what would have to occur to get greater levels of greenhouse gas mitigation.  This information sheet summarises the options and suggests some policy actions.

The barrier for greater uptake of the use of wood energy is the real and perceived cost, the availability of wood fuel compared to coal and natural gas and inconsistent policy and price signals for externalities. The focus for growing the wood energy sector has to be on the availability of wood fuel with gradual growth in supply based on increasing demand from small and medium scale heat plant until capacity is available to supply larger heat plant. The wood energy sector is focusing on converting medium scale coal plant and new heat plant to wood fueling so as to build the wood fuel supply sector in an orderly fashion. This would allow the wood fuel supply market to gear up to the levels and reliability of supply required for large heat plant to transition from coal to wood fuel. 

Information Sheet 32 sets out what the Bioenergy Association’s Wood Energy Interest Group believes is achievable and summarises the advocated strategy and policy options for using wood energy to contribute to the reduction of New Zealand’s greenhouse gases.

Read full document