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Issue 102 – June 2018

Welcome members and friends

The Productivity Commission inquiry has resulted in a lot of contributions on the opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas submissions. The contributions have been wide and varied in their information and opinions. It is particularly encouraging to see the number of bioenergy sector contributions. Those bioenergy related contributions reinforce the message that bioenergy can make a big dent in emissions because we have adequate biomass fuel into the future; that the technology is proven and doesn't need innovation; and there are a large number of existing applications which demonstrate that in niche situations bioenergy has proven to be a good investment decision.

It is to be hoped that the contributions that the Productivity Commission has encouraged can be the start of a discussion between the submitters so that the Commission report is not the end of this initiative. It is hoped that the Climate Commission takes up what the Productivity Commission has started and brings the submitters together for on-going discussion and we don't continue our normal silo thinking. 

The submissions indicate that there are a mix of technologies for reducing emissions. Bioenergy is one of those but there are others, each with their strengths and weaknesses. In the process heat area coal is out except as a transition fuel through co-firing; biomass and gas depend on adequate fuel availability throughout the period to 2050; and electricity will require the consenting and construction of a lot more wind and geothermal power stations. The opportunities for reducing methane emissions from residual organic waste are not large but evidence provided by some submitters showed, that even before the waste levy is increased, many opportunities have an investment payback period of less than 4 years.

Having such a great outline of the greenhouse gas emission reduction opportunities available to New Zealand, and the Productivity Commission collating them into a cohesive picture out to 2050, the next thing will be to assist the Climate Commission advise Government on the targets and a policy plan to reduce emissions.

Key will be demonstrating why we can say biomass available as fuel will never run out. We need to put effort into working with farmers so that biomass production is recognised as one of their revenue streams. We need to show that managed riparian planting with selective harvesting of biomass can reduce slash and nitrogen runoff into waterways. Managed shelterbelts will provide a continuous shelter for stock while also producing revenue from the sale of logs and energy chip.

From work that we have done over the last year we know what bioenergy can offer. We now need to focus on where bioenergy solutions fit compared to other process heat opportunities, and the use of residual organic waste for energy compared to other uses. We also need to focus on the transition pathways.

Brian Cox
Executive Officer

Bioenergy NZ, Australia & the Pacific

Productivity Commission - Low emissions economy
The Productivity Commission has received a large number of submissions on its draft report. It now has the task of comparing the new information against its draft report and coming up with a final version by around September.

It is encouraging that the Commission has taken such an open approach to its inquiry.  It is the first economy wide inquiry undertaken for many years and it is encouraging to review the submissions which it has put on its website  It is also encouraging that it covers energy and not just electricity which is most commonly done.

It is great to see the large number of members who put in individual submissions which complement that Associations sector wide submission. It reinforces how strong the bioenergy sector is becoming.

View the Bioenergy Association's response to the draft Low-emissions Economy Report

Consultation on the Zero Carbon Bill
The Ministry for the Environment has started consultation on the Zero Carbon Bill

Bioenergy Association will make a submission and wants to know from members what we should support and why. If you can drop a note on your views that would assist. Submissions on the following questions are due on the 19 July.

  • Should a new emissions reduction target for 2050 treat all gases that cause climate change the same, or should we take a different approach to different gases depending on whether they cause short-term or long-term warming?
  • How do we ensure settings laid down in law provide the necessary certainty to business and communities?
  • What’s the right balance of power between the Independent Climate Change Commission and the government of the day?
  • And how should we manage the impacts of climate change and develop a plan to adapt?

New online platform maps Australia's biomass hotspots

A new online platform called AREMI identifies the location, availability and volume of biomass, and has been flagged as a pivotal tool to boost investment in Australia's bioenergy sector. 
Businesses and investors now have access to a data-rich platform which maps out Australia’s biomass hotspots. The Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure (AREMI) platform collates data from AgriFutures Australia’s Australian Biomass and Bioenergy Assessment (ABBA) project, and maps available biomass resources across Australia.

AgriFutures Australia ABBA Project Manager, Julie Bird, said AREMI creates better links between potential biomass suppliers, such as farmers and foresters, and end users. “The platform is supporting businesses to get more value from organic material, often destined for landfill, by improving information, access and quality,” said Ms Bird.

The AREMI platform helps researchers, policy makers and bioenergy project investors make decisions on renewable energy development opportunities. In Queensland, Southern Oil used the AREMI data to identify 12 primary processing sites for biomass, which was then transported to their bioenergy refinery in Gladstone.

Learn more about the Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure (AREMI) platform:

Explore AREMI:

EECA Statement of Intent
EECA has released its Statement of Intent which sets out its priorities for the coming year.

Wood Energy South Progress

Much has been happening on the Wood Energy South front. The latest coal to biomass conversions include Ascot Community School and McCallums Drycleaning second boiler.

The Ascot Community School’s new 430 kW Froeling boiler arrived in April. Froeling send out a technician to assist installation of the biggest school biomass boiler installed in Southland to date. Conversions in progress include East Gore School and Lumsden School. In addition one new biomass pallet manufacturers will enter the market shortly. 

Image: Ascot Community School principal Wendy Ryan and John Faul from CH Faul

For more information, visit Wood Energy South

Solid biofuel - Heavy metals and Hg analysis
Independent Petroleum Laboratory Ltd (IPL) advise that they have developed test methods to determine and quantify the presence of heavy metals including Mercury in solid biofuels such as wood fuel (woodchip, wood pellets etc).
The determination of heavy metals can be helpful to predict potential boiler contamination or slagging caused by combustion of the biofuel.  If ashes are to be put back in the forest as fertiliser, it’s important to be aware of those elements to give assurance that the ash is not harmful to the environment. Regular checks can be useful to help iconfirm purity of the product.
IPL can test your solid biofuel by ICP for Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Lead and Zinc and uses its DMA to quantify Mercury to a sensitivity of 20ppt (ng/kg)
Although these test currently aren’t part of the Technical Guide for standard testing methods for sale and purchase of solid biofuels, they help assess the quality and purity of the solid biofuel when diagnostic tests are required.  Contact IPL if you wish to include as part of your quality assurance testing schedule.

Contact IPL if you wish to include as part part of your quality assurance testing schedule

NZIF Foundation Scholarships and Awards for forestry and its uses
A reminder that applications for the 2018 NZIF Foundation awards close at 5pm on Wednesday 20th June 2018.
The awards, which total $44,500, include scholarships for polytech and university students, research grants, a travel award, special awards, one relating to the Otago-Southland region and another available to residents of Invercargill City, plus prizes for student posters displayed at the NZIF conference being held in Nelson from 9-11 July this year.
While the awards are all associated with forestry, this is broadly defined to include all those activities involved in the management and use of forests and their products.  All forests in New Zealand, whatever their purpose, are encompassed in the definition as are all the products and environmental services that arise from forests.

More details here

Southland rest home cuts greenhouse gas emissions with new wood-burning energy system
Warming up for climate fight - A group of rest home residents will be basking in warm temperatures this winter as part of an initiative helping to tackle climate change.  The Parata Rest Home in Gore, about 60km north of Invercargill in Southland, will reduce its carbon emissions by nearly 6000 tonnes over the next 25 years - equivalent to taking 100 cars off the road each year.

Read full article here

New Fuel Quality Monitoring website
Trading Standards (part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) is responsible for monitoring liquid fuel quality in New Zealand. Under the national fuel quality monitoring scheme, Trading Standards organises the testing of liquid transport fuel samples to ensure oil companies are complying with the Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations.

A new website brings together all the regulations and monitoring reports for ensuring the quality of liquid transport fuels

Opinion pieces

Ed- In order to encourage discussion on Association activities, and what would make a difference to speeding up the uptake of bioenergy solutions, members are encouraged to submit opinion pieces to be published in the Bioflash. Ideally it would be good if we could have one contribution each issue. If you would like to have your say please submit your contribution. The full length opinion piece will  be published on the website The first opinion piece is below.

If energy grew on trees - Jonathan McKeown (Azwood Energy)

It is always refreshing when structures and processes work as they were designed to. It’s an absolute triumph when it involves the public sector, an industry body and business. To their credit, this was our recent experience with the Productivity Commission.

Following some outspoken indignation at the poor treatment of biomass in the Commission’s Low-Emission Economy Draft Report – voiced through a Bioenergy Association (BANZ) organised webinar – a member of the Commission contacted Azwood Energy directly for comment. It must be hoped that this proactive position is emulated through a reworking of the report, and that, in turn, provides a clear mandate to government, including the likes of EECA and MBIE, to welcome biomass back in from the cold.

Read more here



Forthcoming Events

Webinar: The Socio-Economic Benefits of Bioenergy
28 June 2018 at 3pm UTC, 11am EST, 8am PT, 

You are invited to register for the World Bioenergy Association's (WBA) next global webinar event.
The WBA has assembled a panel of expert voices from around the world for their upcoming webinar 'The Socio-Economic Benefits of Bioenergy'.  WBA hopes you can join them for this webiinar that will serve to inform, share and educate.  You will have the opportunity to engage with speakers from Uganda, Finland, China, Austria, Brazil, Ukraine, Hungary and Lithuania. 

Programme and Registration details here

Australia - New Zealand Biochar Conference 2018
14-16 August 2018, Queensland, Australia

The aims and objectives of ANZBC18 are to focus on "investable deals" in biochar and "building viable biochar industries" by bringing together stakeholders to achieve real outcomes.

More here

APBE 2018

16-18 August 2018, Guangzhou, China

The 7th Asia-Pacific Biomass Energy Exhibition will be held at the China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou.

More here 

15-18 October 2018, Venice, Italy

The 7th International Symposium on energy from biomass and waste will be held at Scuola Grade Di San Giovanni Evangelista in Venice, Italy on 15-18 October 2018.
Asia-Pacific Biomass Energy Exhibition will be held at the China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou.

More here

CONFERENCE: Bioenergy Australia 2018 Conference
17 & 18 October, Brisbane, Australia

Bioenergy Australia are excited to reveal details of the Bioenergy Australia 2018 Conference.  "Bioenergy Strong 2018 - Driving Commercial Outcomes"  to be held on 17 & 18 October at the State Library of Brisbane.  A welcome reception on the evening of 16 October has been organised at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.


International Bioenergy News

South Africa draft climate law would set emissions targets for every sector

South Africa will set carbon targets for each sector of the economy every five years, under a draft climate law out for public consultation. The draft bill sets out institutional arrangements for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change. It does not specify legally binding targets but cites the country’s submission to the Paris Agreement, which aims for greenhouse gases to peak by 2025, plateau for a decade, then decline.
The bill calls on every part of government to coordinate in climate action, but South Africa’s heavy use of coal remains its biggest challenge.  “The purpose of the bill is to build an effective climate change response and ensure the long-term, just transition to a climate resilient and lower carbon economy and society,” the environment ministry said.

More here

EU sets 32% renewable energy target by 2030

Talks on renewable energy policy in Europe reached an unexpected breakthrough early Thursday morning after negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states were able to reach a compromise on a 32% objective by 2030, up from the previous goal of 27%.  Around 17% of EU energy consumption in 2016 was from renewables with the UK on about 9%.

More here

IEA Bioenergy Task 37 : Integrated Biogas Systems
Local applications of anaerobic digestion towards integrated sustainable solutions

This report produced by IEA Bioenergy Task 37, addresses local applications of integrated biogas concepts. Through case studies, examples of technical solutions, concepts, and strategies, which pertain to sustainable biogas production, are provided.

Read full document

Bioenergy Knowledge Centre

Resources in the Bioenergy Knowledge Centre can be accessed free by members at (not a member - talk to us).  View the latest resources added to the BKC below

WORKSHOP PRESENTATIONS: Transitioning from coal to wood fuel in Otago... the opportunities and challenges
held on Wednesday 30 May 2018 in Dunedin

Speaker profiles and presentations from the "Transitioning from coal to wood in Otago" workshop are now available.

Workshop documents including speaker profiles and presentations

PRESENTATION:  Comparison of the productivity of cut-to-length harvesting and fuel-adapted harvesting in a Pinus radiata clearfell operation in Western Australia
presentation by Martin Strandgard, Senior Research Fellow, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

There is increasing interest in Australia in the use of forest biomass to generate energy. Logging residues represent a large, under-utilised potential source of forest biomass. However, current forest harvesting practices are not designed to facilitate the extraction of logging residues. To address this deficiency, a forest harvesting technique has been developed in Sweden (“fuel-adapted harvesting”) that involves piling residues during harvesting.

The webinar presentation describes the results of the first large-scale trial of fuel-adapted harvesting in Australia.

View the slides

REPORT:  Driving renewable energy for transport
Next Generation policy instruments for renewable transport, November 2015

Renewable energy sources in transport (RES-T) are crucial for avoiding climate change.  This study investigates the main barriers to each RES-T pathway and for all three dimensions, assesses individual policy instruments and defines an overall policy strategy to overcome these barriers. The main focus is on urban road transport.
Read the report

REPORT:  Advanced thermal treatment of municipal solid waste
Report prepared by Enviros Consulting Ltd on behalf of Defra as part of the New Technologies Support Programme, 2007

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is waste collected by or on behalf of a local authority.  It comprises mostly household waste and it may include some commercial and industrial wastes. Historically, nationally the quantity of MSW has risen year on year, presenting a growing problem for local authorities particularly as legislation, now limits the amount of mixed MSW that can be sent to landfill and becomes more stringent over time.
Read the report 
OCCASIONAL PAPER:  Review of regional air quality rules regulating biomass fuelled heat plant
Bioenergy Association Occasional Paper 21, May 2018
This project is to collate the air quality rules for wood fuelled heat plant for each regional consent authority and identify where specifi problems could affect the consenting of biomass fuelled heat plant.  The renew identified that there are significant and unnecessary barriers to the consenting of heat plant in New Zealand.

Read the report
REPORT:  Best available Techniques (BAT) solid biomass fuel processing, handling, storage and production of pellets from biomass
by Jenny P Lindberg och Jukka Tana, AF Industri Ab, 2012
This project aims to provide information for operators, environmental consultants and competent environmental authorities on what is considered BAT, as defined in the IPPC directive (2008/1/EC), in biomass processing and handling as well as the production of pellets from biomass.

Read the report
REPORT:  Nordic ecolabelling boilers for solid biofuels
Nordic ecolabelling of boilers for solid biofuel, version 3.0, 2014-2019
Nordic Ecolabelled boilers for solid biofuel are relatively simple combustion systems of up to 500 kW.  The fuel may be added manually or automatically.  Solid biofuel is firewood, wood pellets, briquettes, wood chips or straw.  The boiler's function is to be the home's primary heating source by transporting heated water through the home's central heating system.

Read the report

REPORT:  Global food waste management - an implementation guide for cities
World Biogas Association food waste report, 2018
Globally, food waste has become an increasingly recognised environmental issue over the last decade.
Not only has the issue of wasted food become an ethical one in a world where approximately 800 million people suffer from hunger, but the environmental impacts of producing food that is then discarded can no longer be overlooked.

Read the report
Improved promotion opportunities for Members
Reminder - work with us to promote your business

Contribute to growing the sector and setting best practice standards
The Association is a collective of people who believe that by working as a group we can make more progress than by acting individually. A quarter of membership fees is a contribution to a pool of money to fund activities to grow the sector and develop best practice standards.  If you want to work with others to ensure that bioenergy solutions contribute to a sustainable future you should join the Association. 

Support to grow your business
The Association provides individual and confidential support to its members to assist them grow their business. If you have a bioenergy related matter where you would like assistance contact the Executive Officer.  This could be related to the market, support for individual proposals or discussion with an independent person the business case for a proposal.
Extend your profile through workshops and webinars
Participate in Association hosted webinars and workshops to extend your profile and your network of others in the sector.  As a webinar speaker you can extend your network of contacts.  If you have a topic which you would like to lead a discussion on contact the Executive Officer who will assist you prepare the idea for a webinar.  As a member this is free exposure to hundreds of potential attendees you wouldn't otherwise reach.

News and advertising of products and services
Members are welcome to provide news for the Bioflash.  The Bioflash is sent to around 900 recipients across the sector each month.  If you have a product or service or have participated in a project you would like to shout about then find the news angle and we will share it with hundreds of readers of the Bioflash.

Contact an Expert
Members are listed in a Contact an Expert directory. Each member has an associated profile page where NZ and Australian specific information, case studies, contact details etc are set out. The size of the profile depends on membership levels - Silver and Gold Members get a larger profile.  See examples here

Members should:
  • check their online company profile - are your profiles upto date and nd relevant to the Australasian markets?
  • check your online project case studies - do we have them?
  • are the projects you have been involved with listed in the Bioenergy Facilities Directory?
  • is your expertise appropriately described?
Members may now also advertise brands and products through advertising on the website.
  • advertising - the new sites have dedicated advertising space - contact us  for more.

Promotion of products and services
The suite of Association websites provides opportunities to improve promotion of members' products and services.

Members are able to promote products in the equipment catalogues on the relevant website. A number of products listings are free to members according to the level of membership.

Contact to have your profiles updated or replaced.   Also ask us about advertising packages and rates.

The association has set up discussion groups on LinkedIn. These are for members to communicate more widely with the public.  Join the discussion group  

Bioenergy Association welcomes news, advertising and articles from members.
Contact the
 Executive Officer.

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