Information Sheet 19: Producing energy from rural land

Unlocking new revenue streams for rural landowners - the Bioenergy Association assists rural landowners establish new energy projects on their farms by linking groups of landowners together and assisting with identifying potential demand. 

Growth in New Zealand's bioenergy sector is starting to drive an increased demand for greater quantities of biomass. Whether it is high quality wood fuel, biomass for transport fuels or production of biogas. New Zealand's landowners are very well placed to meet the demand and take advantage of this emerging opportunity.

The opportunities that exist include:

  • Wood fuel

Wood fuel produced on farms can be used for the production of heat or as a feedstock for the emerging transport biofuels market and can be produced from small or large woodlots, shelter belts and purpose grown biomass crops, horticultural prunnings and crop stubble. The growing or sourcing of these materials can all be integrated with traditional land uses and become important revenue streams for the landowner.

  • Organic matter

Landowners are often in a situation where they produce organic matter which becomes a waste. Integrating bioenergy solutions into traditional land use activities can turn this waste into a valuable resource.  Such organic wastes will include animal wastes, dairy shed effluent, piggery wastes, stable manure, poultry farm wastes and any on-farm animal processing materials. Interestingly, this is not so much a new opportunity, but more about knowing how wastes and residues can be converted into feedstocks for bioenergy and other bio-processing options.

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