The case for woodfuel
In the 21st century, the issues associated with fossil fuel dependence – both environmental and those of long-term energy security – are driving the development of a range of alternative energy sources and technologies. As part of this drive to explore alternative, sustainable, low-carbon energy technologies, the role of wood has seen not just a revival but also a transformation.
Wood or biomass can now be used as a sustainable fuel to provide heat, hot water and energy on both a large and small scale. Moreover, woodfuel is considered to be ‘carbon lean’, meaning that each tree absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide when growing as it releases when burned. When a woodland is managed in a sustainable manner new tree growth will be absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, offsetting that released by the woodfuel produced from the woodland. The overall contribution to atmospheric CO2 levels is minimal.