The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section is launching the Joint Wood Energy Enquiry for the UNECE region for the reference year 2009. Wood energy statistics are often scattered among different entities and concealed within statistics on energy from renewables and waste. The Enquiry aims to shed light on the real role of wood energy within the region by promoting cross-sectoral communication and cooperation between the energy and forestry sectors in the member States.
The Enquiry offers a unique framework for assessing wood energy flows in member States. It provides specific information on the origin (fresh fibres, co-product and wood waste) and amount of wood energy used by different clients (households, commercial power and heat generation, forest-based industries and services). This knowledge allows decision makers to enhance socio-economic welfare by reducing conflicts between energy and material use at an early stage.
The third of its kind, the Enquiry is a reference source of information on wood energy, drawing responses from an increasing number of countries. National correspondents acting as focal points are coordinating a complete response for their countries by January 2011.
Past enquiries conducted for the reference years 2005 and 2007 confirmed the position of wood as the principal source of renewable energy in the UNECE region, accounting for over half of all renewable energy consumption. Between 2005 and 2007, wood energy use in responding countries grew annually by 3.5%. Private households are the biggest users of wood energy – a situation that is expected to continue. In addition, the use of wood for commercial power and heat generation has developed strongly, showing annual growth of more than 18% between 2005 and 2007. There has also been a marked change in the types of fuel used by private households, particularly in EU/European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, with “traditional” fuels, such as round and split logs losing market share to “modern” wood fuel such as wood chips, wood pellets and briquettes.
The Enquiry has been developed in close collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the European Commission (EC). It is fully compatible with international energy and forestry statistics.