March 3, 2008 (Scoop) – Biofuels generated from New Zealand-grown softwood feedstocks have been identified as a feasible, large scale option for meeting both the low-carbon transport vision of the Government’s 2007 Energy Strategy (NZES) and Biofuels Sales Obligation (BSO), say the authors of a report by the New Zealand Lignocellulosic Bioethanol Initiative.
February 15, 2008 (Asia Times) – The 2005-07 spike in petroleum prices topping out at US$100 a barrel has prodded economic planners across the globe to reconsider their energy options in an age of growing concern over global warming and carbon emissions. The Southeast Asian economies, beneficiaries of an oil and gas export bonanza through the 1970s-1990s, now find themselves in an energy crunch as once-ample reserves run down and the search is on for new and cleaner energy supplies. Notably, regional leaders at the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore in November 2007 issued a statement promoting civilian nuclear power, alongside renewable and alternative energy sources. Continue reading
February 14, 2008 (New Zealand Herald) – Ministers and officials are grappling with some thorny issues over how to parcel out more than $1 billion worth of free carbon credits to the owners of commercial forests planted before 1990. They ought to have better things to do with their time.
Under the rules of the Kyoto Protocol, if a forest planted before 1990 is harvested and not replanted, the carbon stored in those trees (about 800 tonnes a hectare for a radiata pine forest) is deemed to be emitted then and there, and the country is liable for those emissions. Continue reading
In a first step toward an eco-motivated locomotive fleet, Toll New Zealand is testing the use of biodiesel in its trains.
The six-month trial will use a B5 fuel mix of 5 per cent biodiesel and 95 per cent regular diesel in two trains – one freight and one passenger – dubbed “bioloco” engines.
Toll rail group general manager Joe Garbellini said the trial was aimed at getting a feel for how biodiesel would work for its fleet of 165 locomotive engines.
With an annual fuel consumption of 50 million litres, the attempt to reduce Toll’s carbon footprint could lead to more than 2.5 million litres of biodiesel being used in the company’s locomotives, Mr Garbellini said.
The trial had followed a locomotive driver fuel saver initiative recently introduced in partnership with Shell New Zealand.
Shell biofuels project manager David Robinson praised Toll’s role in the bioloco trial.
“Everybody wants to reduce their carbon footprint and it is so important that the bigger companies get on board.”
Carbon exchanges across the Asia Pacific are getting ready to compete. Governments and business groups in the Asia Pacific are jockeying to establish the best- placed carbon trading hub in the region, in anticipation of substantial growth in both the voluntary and compliance carbon markets.
November 22, 2007 (Forbes) – Leaders of 16 Asian nations including China and India signed a pact on the environment Wednesday, pledging action on climate change and forest cover, and promoting the use of nuclear energy. The East Asia Summit members threw their support behind a UN plan as the ‘core mechanism’ for tackling global warming.
November 19, 2007 (News.com.au) – CLIMATE change is upon us and its impacts could be abrupt and irreversible.
The latest UN report on global warming predicts that in just 13 years, Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics will start to suffer significant biodiversity losses.
October 12, 2007 (Cleantech Network) – The country is moving forward with its plan to produce 90 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2025.The New Zealand government announced plans to introduce a ban on new gas or coal fired generators. The move is part of the country’s target to produce 90 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2025.
“We don’t believe there should be any need for new fossil fuel plants to be built for baseload generation for at least ten years,” said David Parker, New Zealand’s energy minister.
New Zealand already produces 70 percent of its electricity from wind, hydro and geothermal plants. Continue reading
October 16, 2007 (Bloomberg) – Contact Energy Ltd., New Zealand’s biggest publicly traded energy company, may spend as much as NZ$2 billion ($1.5 billion) building the nation’s largest wind farm to help reduce its reliance on gas-fired generation. The Hauauru ma raki site, near Port Waikato on the North Island, has the potential for 218 turbines with a total capacity of 650 megawatts. At that scale it could produce enough to power 250,000 homes, Wellington-based Contact said in a statement to the New Zealand stock exchange.
The project is Contact’s first investment in wind, and will be five-times bigger than the country’s largest operating wind farm. Today’s announcement comes less than a week after Energy Minister David Parker said power companies are likely to face a 10-year ban on building gas-fired, base-load generators. Continue reading
October 11, 2007 (Scoop) – New Zealand owned and Auckland-based Ecodiesel Limited, is successfully leading the charge in turning purified New Zealand tallow or animal fat, a by-product of meat processing, into a precious liquid ‘green fuel’ – biodiesel. Ecodiesel announced today that it has secured sufficient equity from New Zealand investors to establish the first commercial scale biodiesel production facility in New Zealand. The plant will have the capacity to supply the Government’s biofuel obligation of a major oil company, with initial production of 20 million litres of biodiesel by the end of 2008, increasing to 40 million litres of biodiesel per annum by the end of 2009.
Ecodiesel’s production of bio diesel will support this week’s introduction by Government of the Biofuel Bill. The legislation requires oil companies to blend a percentage of biofuels with the conventional fossil fuels available at the pump, commencing in 2008. Continue reading