Wood is enjoying something of a comeback as a source of renewable energy. Roundwood production for fuelwood enjoyed a steady increase in recent years (+18% in 2019 compared with 2016), before dipping in 2020 due to the measures related to containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Events of this year are likely to see the use of wood as an energy source becoming even more important.
In 2021, the five Member States that recorded the highest fuelwood production were France (26.7 million m3) Germany (23.2 million m3), Finland (8.9 million m3), Romania (6.4 million m3) and Sweden (5.5 million m3), altogether making up 65% of the EU’s fuelwood production.
Compared with 2020 the largest increases in fuelwood production were observed in Germany, France (both +15%) and Hungary (+14%). On the other hand, Luxembourg (-23%), Austria (-8%) and Estonia (-6%) recorded the largest decreases.
After the temporary decrease in 2020, roundwood production in the EU increased by 3.9 % in 2021. In 2021 it reached an estimated 507 million m3. This is 25.6 % more than at the beginning of the millennium. With the exception of four EU Member States where roundwood production decreased or remained stable and a further five Member States where lack of latest data does not allow the trend to be evaluated all EU countries recorded an increase in roundwood production in the period of 2000–2021. The largest relative increase during the two decades in the amount of harvested wood took place in the Netherlands (190 %), Czechia (126 %), Poland (66 %) and Slovenia (65 %). In 2021, Germany was the largest producer of roundwood in EU (82 million m3), followed by Sweden, Finland and France (each producing between 50 and 75 million m3).
Latvia produced roughly as much roundwood as Estonia and Lithuania combined. Most of Latvia's wood is destined for industrial production, not fuel.