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WIREs Energy Environ.
Impact Factor: 3.803

Bioenergy options for New Zealand: key findings from five studies

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Studies on bioenergy opportunities available to New Zealand found wood from plantation forests is the largest biomass resource and the one with most potential to expand. The use of municipal solid wastes and industrial effluents for energy gave significant environmental benefits, but makes a small contribution to total energy demand. The potential of plantation forests to create a carbon store, garner environmental benefits, and create lumber and energy supplies are substantial. After considering several aspects, including domestic energy supply and demand, key to maximizing these benefits for New Zealand is the development of biomass to liquid fuels conversion technologies, focused on wood to drop‐in liquid fuels. Establishment of large‐scale woody biomass resources producing multiple products including energy could mitigate risks associated with other bioenergy options by Being based on an existing industry; Not impacting exports from arable and high‐value pastoral land; Acting as significant long‐term energy store; Providing carbon sequestration during establishment and growingphases and additional carbon stocks from new forest area; Providing environmental services, stabilizing erosion prone land, provid‐ing low‐input (fertilizer, pesticides) land use, and improving waterquality; Producing sustainable coproducts, traditional timber products, and high‐value biomaterials and chemicals; Providing the forest industry with a significant alternative market for low‐value log products; Stimulating regional development; Providing year round biomass supply. The opportunity to substitute fossil fuels with domestically produced biofuels could bring long‐term economic and environmental benefits to the country through better utilizing New Zealand's natural capital. This article is categorized under: Bioenergy > Economics and Policy Bioenergy > Systems and Infrastructure Bioenergy > Climate and Environment
Age class distribution of New Zealand's plantation forests.
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Oil price, US$/bbl (West Texas and Brent), 1986 to 2012. (Created using date from the United States Energy Infomation Authority; http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_spt_s1_a.htm.)
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Domestic oil production.
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Domestic natural gas supply.
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Volume of biomass available by weighted average cost, 2010.
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Potential supply of wood for energy, volume by cost.
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Potential supply from existing resources.
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Liquid fuel options—percentage reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when used to replace petrol or diesel.
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New Zealand's plantation forest by region.
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New Zealand's potential future forest harvest volume. (Created using data from the Ministry of Primary Industries – National and regional wood supply forecasts.)
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