Information Sheet 33: GHG reduction from transport biofuels

In 2014, transport used 36% (256PJ) of New Zealand’s energy supply and released 12.7 million tonnes of CO2-e, which amounts to 40% of the GHG emissions from the New Zealand energy sector. Domestic fuel consumption in 2015 was: petrol (3.1 Billion litres); diesel (3.2 B litres); aviation fuels (0.33 B litres); and marine fuels (0.21 B litres). Nearly all this fossil fuel is currently imported, either as crude oil for processing at Marsden Point, or as a finished fuel. Biofuels provide an opportunity to reduce transport sector emissions as transport moves to be a mix of electric, biofuels and fossil fuels, with each fuel type being most suited for different applications. Biofuels are particularly suited to reducing emissions in the strategically-important heavy transport, marine and aviation markets, where there are few other renewable alternatives. Some retailed vehicle fuels already include a component of bioethanol or biodiesel and bulk purchases are available throughout New Zealand.

Currently bioethanol is produced in New Zealand from whey by Anchor Ethanol, biodiesel is manufactured by Greenfuels NZ from used cooking oil, and by Z Energy from tallow. Gull produce their biodiesel in Australia. Gull and Z energy retail bioethanol blended petrol and/or biodiesel blended diesel. Some biofuels are also imported. However, biofuels still only satisfy a small portion of New Zealand’s transport fuel demand. Biomethane, from biogas production, can also be used as a vehicle fuel, but its use as a fuel has reduced in recent years, despite it being readily available at waste water treatment plants and landfills.

Information Sheet 33 sets out what the Bioenergy Association’s Liquid Biofuels Interest Group believes is achievable under a business as usual situation and under an accelerated scenario if advocated strategy and policy options are adopted.

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