Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

WP(7) Socio-economic analysis - Market structures / Country summary report

- This work provides a comparative overview on the market situation and dominating energy wood production chains in selected European countries.

- For every country we start with giving an overview of the size, relevance, main activities of the forestry sector, forest ownership and forest industry.

- Then the main wood fuels are identified.
Each country has different wood energy utilisation and different potential for each fuel.

- Also regulation and energy and environmental policies have an impact on wood energy utilisation.

- Some general energy and renewable energy characteristics are included to provide background information for the market analysis.

- In the country overview the wood energy situation is discussed per country.

- We start with an inventory of the residues used for wood energy from forestry, agriculture and wood processing industry, followed by a summary of the energy consumption and production and the relevance of renewable energy.

- Energy prices, policies and regulations are shortly addressed as well.

- At the end of each chapter the barriers of wood energy utilisation are described and the most promising wood energy production chains are presented.

- In the final section of this extensive report we make a comparative analysis for the selected countries.

- We look at general indicators, such as GDP and CO2 emissions, and more specific bioenergy-related issues such as price ratios of different fuels, supply and demand of biofuels.

- Also in general the barriers of bioenergy for the various countries are compared and we try to identify common interests in a future pan-European bioenergy market.

Key innovative results:
- There are countries, where a formal wood energy market exists, including a pellet market such as in Finland, Sweden, and Germany.

- And other countries where the wood energy market is much less developed: in Greece, Portugal and to some extent Switzerland, and where the traditional use of wood is still predominant.

- And finally the two countries in transition, i.e. Bulgaria and Romania, which have high traditional use of wood energy and which have a distinctive and rapidly changing institutional setting.

Current status:
- Categories of woody biomass for fuel are logging residues generated from logging operations and industrial by-products generated by the forest industries during processing of timber, particleboard etc and re-circulated wood.

- Marketed wood fuels are logging residues, forest industry by-products, wood pellets and demolition (i.e. recycled) wood.

- Wood logs (e.g. split fire wood) are used as a direct fuel throughout Europe.

- While most traditional stoves and boilers show poor efficiency and high emissions, state of the art boilers and stoves are extremely efficient and clean-burning.

- Open fireplaces, although inefficient and polluting, are widely used for secondary heating or for lifestyle reasons.

Use potential:
- Recent developments of domestic heating equipment are focussing on fully automatic woodchip or pellet boilers that offer the same comfort as oil or gas burners.

- District heating using woodchips (and, in Denmark, straw) is significant in the Nordic countries, Austria and more recently also in parts of Germany and France.

- Significant technological progress has been made in combustion technology for these plants too.

- The use of wood residues in the wood processing industry is widespread and the equipment used can be considered mature (European Commission Atlas project).

Expected benefits:
- In general a switch from fossil fuels to wood energy leads to a decrease in negative environmental impacts of energy use.

- In addition wood energy exerts socio-economic co-benefits such as economic development, local availability of energy sources, improved viability of forest operations, retention of extra money within the community, greater community self-reliance on energy and enhanced self-esteem.

Dissemination of the results have been carried out by 1) Using Echaine web-page, 2) Presentations at two by Echaine organised international workshops (Bulgaria and Russia), 3) Presentations at national and international seminars and workshops, 4) Scientific papers.

Reported by

ETH Zurich
Zurichbergstrasse 18 (ZUE E)
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