Govt can't see our wood for the trees
January 2019, Otago Daily Times
"When it comes to renewable energy, New Zealand need not look further than its backyard", says Grant Smith (Chair, Bioenergy Association)
As Government and their advisers work on our climate change legislation and make plans for transformation to a net zero economy by 2050, their focus is on proving that a 100% renewable electricity system can actually work.
Extensive effort and research goes into pump-storage, subsidised solar panels and batteries into every home, and even the conversion of natural gas into hydrogen with carbon capture and storage underground. In essence, it's all getting very complicated yet opportunities using proven technologies are not being fully considered.
Maybe we are not yet seeing the wood for the trees? We have in New Zealand a wonderful and sustainable renewable resource called wood. It's so good as a resource that we have made many things from wood — pulp, paper, plywood, lumber, laminated beams, fence posts, garden mulch, biogas and liquid transport fuels — it's a wonderful material to work with and has served our economy well for decades with jobs, incomes and even small towns built around these global products.