Rising energy prices in a time of economic downturn coupled with a desire for more sustainable forms of energy have resulted in a rapid and sustained growth in demand for firewood for domestic heating in Wales. However, there are few reliable statistics on domestic firewood production or consumption. Low-intensity omnibus public opinion surveys of forestry (2011) suggest that 14% of the population burn some firewood, but there were no available data on the volumes of wood consumed or its source. To fill this void, in 2012 a household survey was conducted and revealed that domestic firewood consumption could be as much as 40% of the official cut. Firewood is obtained from a number of sources: waste wood, arboricultural arisings, and sawmill offcuts. However, around half comes directly from householders’ own land, neighbours’ land, or family land. The importance of this source provides an additional incentive for woodland management. The authors’ results indicate that domestic firewood use represents a significant contribution to renewable heat generation that is not captured in national energy statistics. This paper will present the results of the survey for Wales and set them against the context of emerging statistics for domestic firewood consumption in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Forestry Review
Subtitle of host publicationSustaining Forests, Sustaining People: The Role of Research XXIV IUFRO World Congress, 5-11 October 2014, Salt Lake City, USA
EditorsJohn Parrotta, Cynthia Moser, Any Scherzer, Nancy Koerth, Daryl Lederle
PublisherCommonwealth Forestry Association
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)2053-7778
ISBN (Print)1465-5498
Publication statusPublished - 2014
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