Information Sheet 60: The State of Biogas in New Zealand


This paper provides an overview of the current state of the biogas industry in New Zealand. The historical lack of effective economic, regulatory and environmental drivers for recycling of organic waste to biogas has resulted in a low uptake of the anaerobic digestion technology in New Zealand. However, a newly recognised role for the government to lead the development of New Zealand’s key markets towards a low-carbon, sustainable and circular bioeconomy future has given rise to new legislation and commitment of policies and programmes that aim to increase the uptake of anaerobic digestion by both the private and public sector.

A low population density continues to make economies of scale challenging. There are however newly recognised opportunities mainly in the primary industry for cost-effective carbon-led transition to utilisation of organic waste instead of disposal to landfill by recycling to biogas and digestate as substitutes to the use of current carbon-intensive resources. A substantial body of work from the industry groups as well as local and central government has been identified as necessary in order to realise the high potential for anaerobic digestion in New Zealand.

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