As we recently noted, the global resurgence in wood production has been driven in part by the popularity and expansion of wood pellets, which are primarily being used for thermal heating purposes at both the consumer and industrial levels. While most of the recent growth in consumption has occurred in Europe, the technology is certainly scalable and usable as a replacement for fossil energy virtually anywhere. Putting the numbers in perspective, Europe consumed 78 percent of the 26 million tons of wood pellets produced globally in 2014.
Confirming the growth trend, The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) recently released its findings of the biennial UNECE/FAO Joint Wood Energy Enquiry (JWEE) 2013, which promotes communication and cooperation between the energy and forestry sectors in member States. The UNECE is made up of 56 member States, including the countries of Europe, but also countries in North America (Canada and United States), Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and Western Asia (Israel). The UNECE region is also home to 20% of the world’s population.
Now in its fifth round since 2005, the JWEE has become a reference source of information on wood energy.