Wood boilers for a low-carbon future

Jul 28, 2016

Business leaders from Southland and the rest of New Zealand gathered in Invercargill on Thursday for the Commercial Biomass Boilers Symposium.

The conference aimed to provide an update on the progress of Wood Energy South — a Venture Southland project to encourage the use of wood boilers in an attempt to lower emissions.

Lloyd McGinty, technical advisor for Wood Energy South, said switching to wood boilers could improve air quality, save lives, and move the region towards a lower-carbon future. It could also be a model for the rest of New Zealand.

Referring to a study from 2012, he said around 2,300 New Zealanders are dying prematurely every year because of poor air quality. Wood boilers produce 50 to 70 per cent less emissions and could help to improve air quality.

Using wood chips could also save businesses money — as demonstrated by the Southern Institute of Technology who saved $2,240 in energy costs by switching from lignite coal to wood chips as a fuel source.

The Wood Energy South project has been funded for $1.5 million by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) until 2017.

Read more about the Symposium in this article from Stuff.