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Estimating Woody Biofuel Supply
Ademe Woody Biofuel / Principal Findings
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Principal Findings

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Summary of main results (detailed results may be found in the pages following the summary)

Forests, poplar plantations and hedgerows contain most of the woody biomass supply at the national scale. From these sources, the annual average biomass availability for the 2006-2020 period reaches:

  • 15.8 million toe/year for IRWB* (71 million m3/year), of which 10.3 toe/year are merchantable (46.1 million m3/year) under current economic conditions and technical harvesting constraints;
  • and 3.3 million toe/year for small branchwood** (14.9 million m3/year), of which 1.6 are merchantable (7.2 million m3/year).

Under current economic conditions, the additional supply of wood available for energy production, above and beyond current use, for the 2006-2020 period comes to:

  • + 2.7 million toe/year on average for IRWB (or + 12 million m3/year) ;
  • A further potential supply of + 1.6 million toe/year of small branchwood (or + 7.2 million m3 per year) may be added; however, this resource is a priori more difficult to harvest than IRWB.


Additional supplies for IRWB are to be found mostly in forested areas (95%), followed by hedgerows (4%) and poplar plantations (1%). The latter two sources are of particular interest at the local level.

Most additional supplies come from broadleaves (85%) and are found in private forests (75%). These forests are mainly located along a diagonal "green" line crossing the country from Toulouse to Nancy via the Centre region. The PACA, Corsica, Basse-Normandie and Nord-Pas-de-Calais regions do not appear to have additional woody biomass supplies.


These volumes seem to be compatible with the objectives set by the COMOP EnR and the Assises de la Forêt (Forest Council) with timescales of 2012 and 2020. However, harvesting this resource will require a considerable effort to bring over-stocked or abandoned forest stands under management.


The results of this study also underline the local interest of enhancing the use of woody biofuels from other resources such as vineyards, orchards and urban trees. However, the technical, economic and environmental conditions involved in using this supply remain largely unknown at this point in time.


* IRWB = Industrial Roundwood and Woody Biofuels, see Glossary.

** SBW = Small Branchwood, see Glossary.


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