Welcome to the seventh post in the Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air – A New Zealand Perspective series. Today we’re crunching the numbers on the potential for biofuels in New Zealand. For the background to the work please our introductory post here. Also check out our earlier posts on the potential of hydro power, geothermal and wind, and the summary on the big three. Yesterday we dealt with solar (and found it was pretty big!). Note: the units are in kWh/day/person – that is, if you ran a 40W lightbulb for 24 hours, it’d take ~1 kWh over the space of a day. We then divide it by person to give you a sense of the scale of the resource proportionate to the size of the population. Be sure to check out the methodology. For reference – we’re looking to replace around 55 kWh/d/p of energy currently generated by fossil fuels.
Energy problems are just one of the significant challenges facing our civilisation so we are reluctant to consider options that affect food production or contribute further to soil degradation. However, as we transition away from liquid fuel-based transportation, biofuels could play a role in keeping us mobile.