In 2019, the consumption of wood fuels reached yet another record and the total consumption increased for the fourth year in a row. The burning of forest chips and forest industry by-products and wood residues in heating and power plants also increased from the previous year. Proportionally, of all solid wood fuels, the use of recycled wood increased the most.
According to the statistics of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), heating and power plants consumed slightly more than 20 million solid cubic metres of solid wood fuels in 2019. The consumption increased by two per cent compared to the previous year and was the highest recorded so far. The energy content of solid wood fuels totalled 39 terawatt-hours.
The consumption of forest industry by-products and wood residues increased by one per cent from the previous year to nearly 12 million cubic metres. The consumption of bark totalled 7.9 million cubic metres, while different types of sawdust were consumed a total of 2.5 million, industrial chips 1.2 million and other industrial by-products 0.2 million cubic metres. Wood pellets and briquettes consumption amounted to 0.2 million cubic metres.
“There were only minor changes in the use of different wood fuel assortments compared to the previous year”, says Esa Ylitalo, Senior Statistician at Luke.
“Proportionally, the use of recycled wood in energy generation increased the most, by 13%, and totalled just over one million cubic metres. During the preceding ten-year period, the burning of recycled wood has more than doubled.”
The consumption of forest chips in heating and power plants increased by two per cent from 2018 to 7.5 million cubic metres. The consumption of forest chips in the combined production of heat and power was at the previous year’s level, totalling 4.7 million cubic metres. However, in heat production alone, consumption increased by 6% to 2.8 million cubic metres.
The majority of the forest chips, 3.9 million cubic metres, was manufactured from small-sized trees, i.e. from pruned and unpruned stems. A total of 2.9 million cubic metres of logging residues were used as raw material for forest chips.
“The use of logging residues in energy generation has increased over the last couple of years, while the consumption of pruned and unpruned stems has decreased. Compared to 2018, the use of logging residues increased by 6%”, says Ylitalo.
The consumption of large-sized decayed roundwood was 0.4 million and that of stumps was 0.3 million cubic metres. The burning of stumps has significantly decreased. The consumption of stumps peaked at the beginning of the 2010s, when the burning of stumps totalled more than one million cubic metres per year.
Last year, wood fuels represented the most important energy source in Finland, covering 28% of total energy consumption. According to preliminary data from Statistics Finland, the consumption of wood fuels totalled 105 terawatt-hours in 2019. This is a new record, and one per cent more than in the previous year. The use of wood fuels, mainly solid wood fuels, in manufacturing and energy generation increased the most. The consumption of black liquor remained at the previous year’s level, while the small-scale combustion of wood slightly decreased. Total energy consumption decreased by one per cent from the previous year to 378 terawatt-hours.
The data for the statistics are compiled once a year from heating and power plants using solid wood fuels.
Senior Statistician Esa Ylitalo, Luke, tel. +358 29 532 55 15, [email protected]
Statistics: Wood in energy generation 2019
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) promotes bioeconomy and sustainable use of natural resources. luke.fi/en
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