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State of Finland's Forests 2012: Finnish forests and
forest management in a nutshell

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Energy from wood

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the use of wood for energy has the effect of increasing self-sufficiency in energy production, promoting good silvicultural practices and improving the employment situation. The use of wood-based fuels in Finland has been increasing since the 1990s and now accounts for 22% of Finland’s total consumption of energy.

Finland aims to increase the percentage of renewable energy sources in energy consumption from the present 28% to 38% by 2020, as per the renewable energy requirements of the EU. This will mean a substantial increase in the use of wood-based fuels; the use of forest chips will have to be more than doubled from the present annual level of 6 million cubic metres to 13,5 million cubic metres.

Of the total consumption of energy by the forest industries, 75% comes from wood-based fuels. The majority of forest industry plants produce their own energy using bark, sawdust and chippings as well as logging residue from thinning and regeneration fellings and waste liquors from industrial processes, which makes them energy self-sufficient. On the whole, however, the forest industry is a highly energy-intensive industrial sector: it consumes about one third of Finland’s total electricity production.

Wood is also used increasingly in rural areas and population centres, especially for heating, either in individual heating systems for single homes or at district heating plants that convey heat to homes and other sites. The percentage of energy derived from wood is already quite high in some regions. In North Karelia Province, for instance, 70% of all energy consumed is wood-based. There has been a marked increase in recent years in research on the energy uses of wood for heating, electricity and biofuel production.

  Updated: 27.02.2012 /MLier |  Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Metla, unless otherwise stated | Copyright Metla | Feedback