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New study reveals biomass potential of Tasmania

A German scientist believes forests in Tasmania could hold a key to bountiful bioenergy production.

Andreas Rothe, from the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan, has spent five months studying the region and ascertained that waste from those forests could generate millions of dollars worth of bioenergy.

He estimates more than 3 million tonnes of biomass per person could be sourced, via wood waste and low quality eucalypts, to generate heat and power, putting Tasmania’s forest resources on a par with Finland and Sweden.

‘These countries produce 30% of their total energy from forest biomass and the Tasmanian potential would be similar,’ he was quoted as saying. ‘It depends which forests the biomass is sourced from but if you do it from a plantation, which are abundant in Tasmania, then it can be renewable.’

Rothe reveals the standards used during tests in the study were more conservative than used by his team in European research.

‘Tasmania has so much potential that there is no need to harvest intensively,’ he adds.