New Zealanders Smell Power in Cow Manure

November 21, 2003 [] At a public meeting, organized by the New Zealand-based Engineers for Social Responsibility, held at the Waikato University School of Management, in Hamilton, New Zealand, Dr. Per Nielsen, a science leader for bioenergy at the Forest Research Institute in Rotorua, New Zealand, and Stephan Heubeck, a agricultural engineer who has recently migrated from Germany to New Zealand, discussed options for using cow manure to generate electricity. Nielsen lamented that biomass is under-valued as an energy source in New Zealand, but cited how overseas research could point the way to its greater utilization in New Zealand. Heubeck recounted that in Germany, some farmers were making more money from being energy suppliers than from producing farm products. The speakers said that plant and technology for the generation of electricity from animal wastes is now readily available and could have value for New Zealand. They cited that New Zealand energy producers are already using biomass from forestry and other primary industries to produce methane that can substitute for fossil fuels in electricity and heat generation.