A Wood Residues Circular Economy
Azwood Energy is cleaning up forestry slash and using it as a low-emission energy source to power industry and heat New Zealanders. The residues are then used to give back to the land – all helping to supercharge the New Zealand economy, while creating an alternative to fossil fuels.
Azwood Energy works in partnership with forestry, providing an environmental clean-up of wood waste from skid sites, helping to prevent erosion and protect waterways. It uses this residue to produce low-emission replacement energy for fossil fuels.
The circular economy is created when healthcare facilities, schools, businesses and organisations, (including wood processing), heat their people and operate their processes using the low-emission wood fuel produced from this residue by Azwood Energy.
To close the loop, in many cases ash from burned wood fuels is further utilised, added to other forestry residues to produce composts and other organic growing media, thereby giving back to the earth.
It is a closed-loop circular economy unique to Azwood Energy and one that is helping to power New Zealand, lower emissions, clean up the environment and give back to the land.
The widespread implementation of Azwood Energy’s sustainable circular economy could combat the impact of severe weather events, like Cyclone Gita in Tasman, preventing forestry slash damage like that also recently seen in Tolaga Bay. It may be of no comfort to those affected; however, had Azwood Energy been operational in Tolaga Bay, and able to create a local market for its wood energy, the environmental disaster may have been averted. In that scenario, it is very likely that the slash and logs that were washed down in that wall of wood would have been burned long ago to provide process energy to heat plants in place of environmentally-damaging fossil fuels, like gas and coal.
Ben Crawford, Operations Manager at Azwood Energy, who recently addressed the New Zealand Institute of Forestry Conference attended by Forestry Minister and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, says, “There’s a place for residue wood fuel in responsibly-powering New Zealand, with a huge resource sitting there, ready to be used. And, if we can work alongside proactive forestry companies to reduce industry impact – it is a win-win for New Zealand.”
The Labour Coalition Government has set a goal to plant one billion trees over the next 10 years. This initiative will enhance forestry’s role in reducing the effects of climate change by storing more carbon in building materials, as well as providing more wood residue fuel for heat plant conversions, helping New Zealand transition to a low-emissions future.
Fossil fuels like gas and coal supply 60% of New Zealand’s energy for process heat, and this contributes 9% of the country’s gross greenhouse gas emissions. EECA and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment are working on a process heat action plan to improve the energy efficiency of using process heat and increase the amount of renewable energy used in its supply.
as well as making equipment more efficient, woody biomass technologies are increasingly becoming viable alternatives to fossil-fuelled boilers when investment in EECA’s chief executive Andrew Caseley says: “The PwC report makes it clear that strategic focus at senior levels to champion energy efficiency and carbon reduction projects, and improved access to capital, enables the success of such projects.” He notes that report by PwC, commissioned by EECA, identifies how and when businesses spend money to reduce energy use and carbon emissions in some manufacturing processes. A recently publishednew plant is being considered.
Azwood Energy prides itself on its ‘Why Statement’, which informs and drives its business operation: “We believe in being resourceful and making the most of what we have been given.” The fulfilment of the circular economy, turning forestry residue into wood fuel and compost, is a hallmark of the sustainability practices that are core to their business model.
Azwood Energy has been recognised by the Bioenergy Association as the national leader in range of product and extent of business. They are proud to be successfully and resourcefully repurposing more than 1.2 million cubic meters of wood residues each year.
Azwood Energy is New Zealand’s most experienced wood energy supplier, the only company manufacturing the entire range of wood fuels; Biomass Hog Fuel, Wood Energy Chip and Wood Pellet Fuel. In the energy sector for 40 years, Azwood Energy began in coal supply, switching, in the mid-1990s, to wood energy, inspired by a vision for the future and a belief in resourcefulness and sustainability.
Read more on the Azwood Energy website at: http://www.azwood.co.nz/About+Azwood+Energy/OurStories.html