Sunday, April 14, 2024

Industry backs biofuels mandate and calls for gas equivalent

Gas NZ and the Bioenergy Association have applauded the Government’s decision to implement a biofuels mandate and is encouraging the establishment of a similar mandate for the gas sector.  

Gas NZ represents the Gas Association of New Zealand and the LPG Association (LPGA). Chief Executive of the associations, Janet Carson (pictured) says the announcement is a tangible and constructive move toward a net zero carbon future by 2050 and says on the same basis, considerable gains could be made by extending a mandate to renewable gases.

“One of the things we’re encouraging Government to include in its Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan and in the National Energy Strategy is a renewable gas mandate. Specifically, that Government set a renewable gas mandate, that a proportion of gas and LPG used in buildings and homes is to come from a renewable source,” she said.

“Projects like the plant recycling food wastes into biogas at Reporoa announced last week by Firstgas and Ecogas, shows how close we are to biogases in our pipeline.

“We need more of this investment in renewable gases. By building the market now, the economics of renewable gas will improve, just like it will for transport biofuels.

“The key is to start now. We do not have the luxury of time, but we do have the luxury of gas infrastructure. We have a network of pipelines, connections and appliance infrastructure already in place – what a waste not to use that infrastructure for a renewable gas industry, for biogas, hydrogen gas and bio LPG,” Ms Carson says.

Chief Executive of the Bioenergy Association, Brian Cox is similarly backing an extended mandate.

“A renewable gas mandate is consistent with the government’s sustainable transport biofuels mandate proposal. Adopting a similar mandate for gas as has been proposed for transport fuels aligns with this.”

“We celebrate Government’s drive to increase uptake of biofuels in Aotearoa and reducing transport emissions. We say don’t stop there,” Mr Cox said.

The Bioenergy Association represent bioenergy companies, and a number of energy businesses using or supplying biofuels, including Z Energy, Gull, Fonterra and Air New Zealand.

Mr Cox says that the proposed mandate is already giving confidence to industry to expand use of biofuels.

“The big advantage of biofuels is that they can be used in existing engines and the whole vehicle doesn’t have to be replaced.”

“We are also pleased Government has committed to developing an aviation fuels mandate in 2022. Internationally, the aviation sector is adopting biofuels, the biofuels mandate supports adoption to also occur in New Zealand. This is an excellent announcement today by Energy and Resources Minister, Megan Woods,” he says.

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