I’ve posted several times about the fledgling New Zealand biofuels industry and how I think the current National government have pulled the rug out from under it. In comments people have often raised concern about the potential for biofuels to create other problems such as food shortages. That’s one of the reasons I’m so keen to see a lot more biofuel development that uses waste product as its feedstock.
But the use of waste to produce energy isn’t limited to biofuels. The Dominion Post had an interesting little story today on its Small Business page about Peter Yealands from Yealands Estate. He’s going to be using prunings from his vineyard to provide energy. This will save 22,000 tonnes of LPG and $80,000 during the vintage. EECA has backed the project with a 40 percent ($200k) subsidy.
The prunings will be burned in two boilers with modified doors that are being imported from the US. They burn clean, releasing no smoke and leaving only about 10kg of ash at the end of each bale. That ash will be mixed with mulch made from the rest of the prunings and put back on the land (only about 10% of the prunings will be burned).
This is the kind of energy innovation we should be encouraging a lot more of. Good to see EECA getting behind it. The question now should be – how do we get more of it?