The bioenergy sector

What is bioenergy?

Bioenergy - provides heat, electricity and fuel for transport from solid biofuels (such as wood chips, wood pellets or organic waste), liquids (such as biodiesel from tallow or used cooking oil) or gas (such as those produced in waste water or sewage treatment plants).  Biomass from forestry and municipal waste are the primary big sources of feedstock for bioenergy and they are renewable natural resources which New Zealand and Australia have a lot of.  The economics of using these resources to produce a wide range of energy, economic, environmental and employment benefits is now such that this should be the next big growth sector - turning waste into wealth via bioenergy applications.

How is it used?


[source - E4tech 2009]

Applications and technologies

There are a number of Associations in New Zealand that also support the bioenergy and bioproducts industry by the very nature of what they do.  

Applications - Biomass or organic waste is widely used as renewable feedstock into energy used for producing heat, electricity and transport fuel (principally for transportation) and also to make bio-products.

  • Heat : biomass and organic matter, or biogas from the decomposition of organic matter, can be combusted using a number of different technologies to produce heat.
  • Electricity : heat produced from combustion of biomass or biogas can be used to produce electricity.  Often the electricity is produced as a co-product of heat utilisation.
  • Transport fuel : bioliquids and biogases can be used in stationery or vehicle engines to substitute for petroleum based liquid fuels.
  • Bio-products : the deconstruction of biomass or organic matter can also produce chemicals that can replace those from petroleum and coal.