Sustainability criteria for biofuels
Good news - New Zealand biofuels are Sustainable biofuels!!
The growing international debate and requirement for 'sustainability standards' for biofuels can only be a good thing for New Zealand. It is well known and proven that the existing resources available in New Zealand such as tallow, used cooking oil,rotational oil seed crops and whey are indeed sustainable and moreover, are amongst the best performers in terms of net green house gas emission reductions. Longer term other sustainable feedstocks such as cellulose and algae will be utilised as technological developments evolve.
There is significant potential here for New Zealand to position itself as a leading producer and user of sustainably produced fuels. New Zealand has the unique opportunity to develop a biofuel industry that utilises existing resources that are available on a sustainable basis. By this we mean biodiesel from either tallow (rendered from beef or mutton fat), used cooking oil and fats, vegetable oil from rotational crops, ethanol from whey, ethanol from cellulose, algae oil options, etc.
These resources have a very favourable net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, they do not compete with food production nor do they threaten conservation areas. Rather they have the potential to reduce waste to landfill and give some value to otherwise low-value land. This is a 'win-win' situation.