South Yorkshire Woodfuel

Environment Context

Why heating with woodfuel is good for the environment

Forget about smoky wood fires - modern stoves and boilers burn wood cleanly without polluting the environment. Using wood from well managed, local woodlands provides a renewable source of fuel with reduced transport costs - and gives woodland owners an incentive to manage their woodlands productively as well as for the benefit of wildlife. A well managed wood will have areas of diversity that can support a wider range of flora and fauna than many under- managed woodlands.

Reduced pollution and waste reduction

  • CO2 emissions from woodfuel boilers is reduced by up to 90% compared with fossil-fuelled systems, supporting the move to a low carbon economy
  • Very low emission of other pollutants such as sulphur
  • Woodfuel can be produced from very low-grade timber material including arboricultural waste from gardens, parks etc, which would otherwise go to landfill or be dumped. Clean waste wood such as offcuts from sawmills (slabwood) is also suitable for chipping for fuel.

Well managed woods are good for the local economy, people and wildlife.

  • Neglected or under-managed woodlands will be brought into management as the demand for local timber increases. Well-managed woods produce timber which can be used by local industries such as furniture making. Lower-grade wood is processed for fuel. Without this market there is less incentive to manage local woodlands or establish new woodlands.
  • As the market for woodfuel and other local wood products grows, the amount of woodland cover, including short rotational forestry and coppice will increase, and provide alternative and diverse habitats. South Yorkshire Forest Partnership is working with landowners and managers to ensure that new planting does not damage existing habitats, and that new woodlands will create a more diverse landscape. Many new woodlands incorporate open habitats, wetlands, public access facilities, in addition to creating new habitats which are rich in wildlife.

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A Comparison of Lifecycle Emissions of CO2 (g/kWh)

Carbon Cycle

Global and National context - find out more about global and national steps being taken to reduce carbon emissions.

Economic advantages - as fossil fuel costs rise woodfuel is becoming a realistic alternative - How does the cost of woodfuel compare with other systems?

Environmental benefits - woodfuel is the renewable fuel which cuts down on carbon emissions and benefits the local environment

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