Wood as a regenerative commodity is a perfect raw material and renewable energy source. The use of forest biomass by people is carbon-neutral, if in the long run the amount of biomass that is removed from the forest is the same as the amount that grows, and where the fossil energy used for harvest, haulage, transport and production (grey energy) is omitted from a first approximation. In regionally produced wood fuel, this grey energy accounts for only one to two percent of the energy contained in the fuel and is also considerably less than in fossil fuels such as oil and gas.
All carbon dioxide (CO2), which is stored in wood is extracted from the atmosphere and is rereleased along differing timeframes according to use. It is therefore a classic cycle, which takes place both naturally – without human intervention – and also through the use of biomass.
|The use of forest biomass by people is carbon-neutral, where in the long run the same amount of biomass is removed from the forest as grows.|
In regard to climate protection, wood products should be used where they can store CO2 as long as possible and/or replace products which cause high CO2 emissions such as plastic, steel, coal or oil. This is known as the “substitution effect”. Depending on the product life, the CO2 can remain in the wood products for a few weeks or in the case of construction timber for many years. By-products from harvesting (firewood, woodchip goods), from processing (sawdust, off-cuts) or industry (cutting waste, wood shavings, black liquor) can be used to produce energy. Through the use of bioenergy less fossil fuels need to be burned.