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The demand for biofuels is changing the value of trees

Authors: Brian Cox, Executive Officer, Bioenergy Association of NZ. Email:
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2022, Issue N.Z.J.For. 67(3) 2022, pp 4-9, Nov 2022
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: The demand for solid, gaseous and liquid biofuels throughout New Zealand is driven by government policies, particularly as a tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy use. The Government is also wanting to encourage the transformation of the forestry and wood processing sector so that greater value is derived from wood and a wider bioeconomy is established. In the last 12 years the market for trading between unrelated parties of solid biofuel from forest and wood processing residues has developed, and in some regions of New Zealand is now well established. The demand for biomass residues has been driven by heat plant owners transitioning from fossil to solid biofuels. In these areas, demand for biomass has forced parties to become much more efficient at sourcing and preparing residues to be a quality fuel. As a consequence of increased demand for biomass residues for energy, the value of trees is increasing and financial returns are encouraging forestry and agriculture to plant more trees and investigate new markets for the biomass.