Current issue: 56(4)
Under compilation: 57(1)
According to the statistics, the fuel wood consumption in Europe has declined since 1925/1929, when the total fuel wood consumption was 144 million m3. In 1960 the consumption was 108 million m3. Because of insufficient statistics in the early years, the drop may even be larger than shown by the figures. The aim of this paper is to assess what part of European fuel wood removals in 1960 could be used for industrial purposes by 1975.
It was estimated that in 1975 the use of fuel wood in Europe will be about 45–55 million m3 less than in 1960 and about 10 million m3 of this amount will consist of coniferous species. It is believed that about 45 million m3 could be transferred to industrial use by 1975, and 55 million m3 is supposed to be the maximum reduction achievable by 1975. The estimates are based on the revised European fuel wood removal figures.
The new European timber trends and prospects study reveals a shortage of small-sized coniferous wood of about 25–43 million m3, depending on whether the exports from Europe are curtailed or not. The decrease of coniferous fuel wood of 10 million m3 could almost entirely be transferred for the use of industry.
A more important question is, is there demand for the extra small-size broadleaved wood. It is important to note that there is no longer any technical limitations on the use of this kind of wood for producing pulp, paper paperboard and wood-based panel products.
Fuelwood is often collected by the farmer and used near the farm. If the wood is to be used in the industry, harvesting and transport costs need to be decreased. However, productivity of the logging and transportation may be significantly improved by cutting the trees into longer lengths and professional harvesting. About 40% of the potential transfer of fuelwood to industrial uses is concentrated in Finland (7 million m3), France (5 million m3), and Italy (7 million m3). Other countries with significant potential shifts could be Romania, Spain and Yugoslavia.
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