Launch of renewable energy initiative in Southland

  • Simon Bridges
Energy and Resources

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges has today welcomed the launch of New Zealand’s first region-wide wood energy heat hub that will help fuel the Southland economy.

Wood Energy South is a joint initiative between the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and Venture Southland that will partner with local businesses, schools and healthcare facilities to help them convert to cleaner, renewable wood burning technology. 

“Southland’s strong forestry and wood processing industry creates a rich source of wood fuel for the region.  This project will help local businesses realise the renewable energy potential in their own back yard.

“EECA and Venture Southland are working with forestry companies, heat plant suppliers and fuel suppliers to establish a sustainable supply chain utilising some of the 300,000 tonnes of wood waste generated in Southland each year,” Mr Bridges said.

The Government is investing $1.5 million into the project over the next three years, with private investment expected to better this funding.

“Wood Energy South is one of the Government’s four carbon-saving energy efficiency initiatives which I announced earlier this year, focused on improving business productivity and reducing costs.

“Wood energy is renewable and can be a cost-effective alternative to coal.  Wood Energy South is expected to save 8,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, which is equivalent to taking 2,500 cars off the road.

“This is a unique opportunity for Southland businesses to be leaders in the use of renewable energy.”

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