Wood energy knowledge centre
Wood is a clean, efficient and renewable form of energy which has been used in fires for thousands of years.
Despite these simple beginnings, businesses and organisations are increasingly using wood for industrial energy generation, horticulture such as heating greenhouses, and for heating commercial buildings and schools. In fact, it is now the forth largest energy source after oil, coal and gas.
Part of its popularity in recent years is due to the fact that wood can be grown and used sustainably. Wood energy is also carbon neutral as the carbon released by burning wood is equal to the carbon absorbed by trees during growth.
Wood energy is a form of bioenergy. Bioenergy is energy from the sun which is captured in organic material such as wood, crops or animal waste.
Wood energy for commercial and industrial use comes in two main forms:
- Wood pellets – Wood pellets are a fairly new form of energy in New Zealand made from dried and compressed sawdust and wood shavings. They are a standardised, efficient and compact form of fuel and are well suited for use in automated feed systems.
- Wood residue – Wood residue results as a by product of tree felling and timber processing and comes in a variety of forms including wood chips, hogged wood and sawdust/shavings. This residue can be used to produce energy.
Using wood energy can provide both economic and environmental benefits to industry, schools and commercial buildings when used to produce heat and electricity.
The production of wood for energy is a process which involves forest management and then processing, drying, handling and storing fuel. The efficiency of this process effects the end cost of the wood when used for fuel.
Wood is almost always burned to create energy, but the options for sourcing and burning wood vary depending on whether you will be using the energy for industry or in schools or other commercial buildings.
Feasibility study support
Funding is available for businesses considering energy efficient or renewable projects.