WHY WOOD ENERGY?
Wood energy is a waste resource that is sourced from local forestry or manufacturing and utilised by efficient clean burning boilers to produce heat or hot water for processing by commercial and industrial businesses. There are numerous benefits of wood energy and some of these are explained here.
Woodchips are lightweight and can be expensive to transport. Because of this, woodchip suppliers need to be in close proximity to the end user. This means, suppliers need to be local and this contributes to local income and jobs. It also means business using wood-fuels are spending their money within the local economy and it is not leaving the Region as profits to other businesses.
Woodchip is the next cheapest options after coal and has much lower maintenance and servicing requirements than coal boilers. For businesses using LPG or diesel, the economic business case for switching to wood fuels is compelling usually with quick return on investment ratios. This results in bottom line savings on energy budgets and being more competitive.
The Wood Energy South project has capital funding available for any new wood energy project for a limited time so this only improves the case for converting. Contact us for more information or check the funding section of this website.
The environmental benefits of using wood energy relates to local and global issues relating to clean air and global warming as well as health benefits for staff. Environment Southland are updating the Regional Air Quality Plan and while the Southland air quality overall is good, at times can fall below the standards. This usually occurs during winter in the urban centres of Invercargill and Gore. The main issue is PM_10- the microscopic particles contained in air. The key source of these in Southland is coal and burning wet wood. Burning fuel grade woodchip in modern boilers is not only efficient but also clean. A modern wood fuel burner can meet the toughest European standards for emissions.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air as they grow which is released again when burnt. The amount of CO2 released would be the same if it was burnt or left in the forest to rot. The CO2 from fossil fuels on the other hand are underground and not part of the CO2 cycle, so burning coal and petroleum products that have been extracted increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Speak to any person that has worked on a coal and wood-fuel boiler and you get the same message. That is, wood-fuel boilers are much healthier for the environment, clean and better to work with. The environment is much better for staff.