Biofuels: your first step to kicking the fossil fuel habit

Find out everything you need to know about biofuels – facts, tips on using biofuels, benefits and myths – to help you kick your fossil fuel habit and start using biofuels today.

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Smart Transport vision: By 2050 Aotearoa New Zealand is self-sufficient with all energy derived from renewable sources.

biofuels 1New Zealand leads globally in renewable energy sources for electricity use. There is plenty of potential for solar, wind and hydro energy to get us to 100 per cent. Our biggest challenge is transport, which accounts for about 20 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions. Almost all of our transport energy is non-renewable and we are dependent on imported fossil fuels to keep our current system running, which is a major issue for New Zealand’s future energy security and supply.

According to a PWC report, Auckland ranks near the bottom of international cities for transportation and infrastructure. We have both public health and environmental problems as a result and, along with increased costs of fossil fuels, our economic wellbeing is threatened. We need to get New Zealand transport off our fossil addiction.

On a positive note, the growth of more active modes of transport (walking and cycling) and public transport, together with emerging sectors of car-pooling, car-sharing and technology, provide significant opportunities. They can help grow our economy, reduce our reliance on foreign energy imports, improve movement efficiency, and clean the air in our towns and cities, as well as reduce carbon emissions.  The Sustainable Business Network is collaborating with our members to speed and scale a range of these solutions here in New Zealand.

The way in which we power our motor vehicles is also changing and in the longer term, electric, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles are now becoming more viable.  Along with this shift biofuels also offer an opportunity to replace fossil fuels.

Biofuels present an immediate means of reducing the environmental impact of vehicle emissions, particularly heavy vehicles (like buses, trucks and campervans), as we continue to transition to an electric vehicle future. You can already buy biofuel (bioethanol or biodiesel) at the pump in a blend of up to 10 per cent and it doesn’t require any conversion of your engine to use it safely in your vehicle.  Although biofuels have been available in New Zealand for many years (Gull has been selling ethanol blended fuels since 2007), some barriers still exist to their more widespread use.

This Guide has been created to help you play an active role in achieving that vision by increasing your use of biofuels.


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