Finland is known as a forest country in the world – 3/4 of its land area is covered by forest. Forests have also become the main source for renewable energy production in Finland. The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) is collecting data of forest energy use in heat and power plants in Finland. In 2012, the use of forest chips was around 7 682 000 m3 which corresponds to approximately 15.4 TWh (Ylitalo 2013). Recently the facilities using forest chips were geocoded in order to study the balance between demand and supply. There are more than 850 plants that currently use solid wood fuels – including more than 630 using wood chips directly from forests (logging residues and stumps from final fellings and small diameter trees from early thinnings) (Picture 1).
Picture 1. Forest Energy users in Finland (Ylitalo, E. 2013)
There is still potential to increase the production of forest energy, the goal for 2020 is to increase use of forest chips to 13.5 million m3. Mapping the forest chips use and availability helps entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers to find new potential areas ensuring the sustainable use of forest energy resources. More about recent forest energy balance calculations in Finland can be found from the following link:
Within the BioPAD project, Metla is analyzing and developing tools to help entrepreneurs and other stakeholders with the supply of biomass from the source to the end using facility by analyzing suitable and proven supply chains in the partner regions. Sharing the knowledge and best practices in Finland, especially in wood energy can help other Northern Periphery regions to reach their targets.
References: Ylitalo, E. 2013. Puun energiakäyttö 2012. Metsätilastotiedote 15/2013
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