Otago wood energy project scoping study

prepared by Ahika Consulting Limited

A scoping study of the wood energy opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas reductions in the Otago region for a proposed regional project has identified:

  • There is support from all Otago Councils for a collective approach that builds on the previous work and resources from Wood Energy South in Southland.
  • There are approximately 125,085 Ha of planted production forestry in Otago which would provide sufficient volumes of wood fuel to meet demand over the next 45 years.
  • There are approximately 367 boilers operating in the Otago Region. They range in size from small commercial scale (<100kW) to large industrial (>10MW) boilers.
  • Opportunities for new wood fuelled plant include:
      • at least 50 school boilers are due for replacement  over the next 5 years. (The Ministry of Education replacement policies favour renewable fuel options.)
      • at least  26 high priority coal fuelled facilities could be replaced by wood fuel representing more than 70 MW, 1,000,000 GJ of energy and 84,000 t CO2-eq per annum.
  • Such a project would deliver the following outcomes for the Region:
      • Promote economic development in the Region
      • Boiler upgrades would displace 325,000 GJ of coal fuelled energy, equivalent to 640,000 t CO2-e (removing 237,000 cars from the road).
      • Councils will take the lead and undertake assessments of their own boiler assets.
      • Improve air quality in the Region.
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