December 16, 2006

Bioenergy Gateway: Energy from Wood

The forest industry self-examination and renaissance is worldwide. Just as the new renewable fuels fever has captured the imagination of rural communities, the potential for woody biostock is just as great - if not greater. After all, the wood and forestry industries have been leaders in using their waste for energy; unlike corn or sugar, wood does not have any food uses to compete with; and the industrial biostock infrastructure is already in place. What is needed are new biorefinery developers, entrepreneurs, and educators who can help the industry through its transition.

New Zealand seems poised to provide an example of how one country plans to collaborate to further this ambition.

The New Zealand Forest Industry Development Agenda (FIDA) is an agreement between Government and the forest industry to address the information and technology barriers that were seen to discourage investment in bioenergy. The FIDA Bioenergy Programme aims to increase the use of renewable energy and, as a consequence, forest owners’ income, through utilizing wood waste left in the forest after tree harvesting, and waste produced from wood processing sites.

The FIDA Bioenergy Programme has three key elements:
1. Research into engineering solutions for forest waste harvesting.
2. Funding for feasibility studies into use of woody biomass as a fuel.
3. To provide information through a web-based knowledge centre.

Below is the introduction to the web-based knowledge center:

Bioenergy Gateway: Energy from Wood

This website provides tools and information for utilising wood waste as a renewable energy source.

The forest industry frequently burns wood waste to produce energy for processing. As the market grows for bioenergy production, there are opportunities to expand the use of this renewable resource.

This website can help forest growers and wood processors or bioenergy investors to assess the potential value of wood waste and harvesting residues.

Bioenergy offers value to different people in different ways:
Dairy or other food processing
Home heating
Heating for schools or commercial buildings

Case Studies
The website provides a series of case studies that demonstrate how different wood processing companies in New Zealand are developing bioenergy solutions, such as:

• Cogeneration Facility
• Landfill Electricity Generation
• Fuel Feed Systems
• Forest Residues as Fuel
• Energy Savings Through Energy Management
• Energy Use in the NZ Wood Processing Industry
• Energy Audits

Tools & Calculators
They also feature a page filled with biostock conversion calculators:
Wood waste valuation tool
On-site biomass assessment tool
Biomass boiler investment tool
Biomas cogeneration plant investment tool
Biomass Calorific value calculator
Wet/Dry Basis Converter
Energy Unit Converter

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