The potential of fuelwood to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in europe

Publikation aus Life
Klimaneutrale Energiesysteme und Lebensstile

Schwaiger H., Schlamadinger B.

Biomass and Bioenergy Volume 15, 1998


The project FEEDS (Fuelwood in Europe for Environment and Development Strategies) has been carried out to analyze possibilities of increasing fuelwood use for five selected European countries in the year 2020, considering environmental, technical and socio-economic aspects. In this paper the effects of increased use of fuelwood on emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as CO2, CH4 and N2O, are presented. Achievable emission reductions in Sweden range from 6.9 to 17.2 Mt CO2 equivalents, which is equivalent to 12 and 30% of total energy-related GHG emissions in 1995. In Finland a reduction between 5.0 and 10.5 Mt (9 and 18%) is seen to be possible. For France (8.6 and 13.6 Mt; 2 and 4%), Austria (3.7 and 6.2 Mt; 6 and 10%) and Portugal (1.8 and 2.4 Mt; 4 and 6%), relative emission reductions are lower, because of the usable fuelwood potential, but also the market potential in various sectors of the economy are lower. Greatest emission reductions in 2020 are expected in the sectors of individual housing, collective housing (France, Austria and Sweden), tertiary, manufacturing and other industries (Portugal) and district heating (Finland, Sweden). The scenarios indicate that fuelwood has significant yet limited possibilities to reduce total emissions of GHG in the five countries, with the greatest relative reductions in Sweden and Finland.

Keywords: fuelwood, greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel substitution, fuelcycle, biomass, carbon balance