Finnish Forest Research Institute  Metla

Press release 27.02.2006

Wood-En-Man - a project to integrate research data for sustainable use of wood-based forest biomass resources for energy production

Increasing production of forest chips has raised questions about the effects of intensive use of forest biomass resources, both at stand level as well as at larger regional levels. Metla participated in the Wood For Energy – a contribution to the development of sustainable forest management (Wood-En-Man) project funded by the EU Fifth European Framework Programme. The project surveyed the practices of forest energy use in Europe and created both national and international policy recommendations for sustainable use of forest energy resources. The research was carried out as a joint project between seven Nordic and Baltic countries during 2001-2005

The objective of the Wood-En-Man project was to produce and integrate research data on the ecological, biological and socio-economic effects of wood-based forest biomass usage for energy. The central themes of the project were

A specific aim of the Wood-En-Man project was to guarantee that the knowledge gained through research will be available for the end users, i.e. decision-makers, forest owners and forestry professionals. The final project outputs include a comprehensive book presenting the ecological and socio-economic topics of the research scheme and providing recommendations both at the national and international level from the point of view of sustainable production of wood for energy.

As an end product of the project, Metla developed a decision support tool for end users called EnerTree. It is a stand-level simulator based on the ecological research results of the Wood-En-Man project and currently existing forest models. The application can be used to assess alternatives to harvesting of forest energy at stand-level and to compare them with ordinary commercial wood harvesting. Results of the simulation include, for example, the effect of the various alternatives on expected stand growth and the net present value of the total yield.

The EnerTree development work is being continued in the BIODST-BSR project funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Other final outputs of the Wood-En-Man project include a database on properties of different types of wood-ash, seminars and meetings directed for end users, and scientific publications.

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