Welcome to Northern WoodHeat, a Northern Periphery Programme funded project managed by Highland Birchwoods with partners in Scotland, Iceland and Finland. Northern WoodHeat aims to set up small and medium scale woodfuel supply chains optimising benefits to local communities.
Wood is the most plentiful source of renewable energy in Northern Europe, and is currently under-exploited. It can be used in a variety of forms and at a range of scales, from stoves for domestic heating up to combined heat and power plants heating whole communities.
All three partner countries have substantial woodfuel resources in peripheral areas with scattered small population centres. Additionally, they all have difficulties maintaining forest thinning programmes because of poor markets for the harvested material. This can have an adverse impact timber quality, reducing the value of the timber crop, restricting both the profitability of forestry and options for local added value processing, which in turn limits its contribution to rural development.
Local woodfuel markets could help to reverse this trend by reducing haulage costs, thereby improving the timber return from thinnings and final crops in peripheral areas remote from main markets.
The participating countries are at varying stages of woodfuel development. Finland has a well established industry, but it is constantly seeking ways to further develop markets, particularly at the smaller scale. Scotland has a fledgling woodfuel industry that faces the problems of variable fuel quality and lack of potential customer confidence in the security of supply, and entrepreneurial uncertainty concerning long term market development. In Iceland, wood energy is almost entirely undeveloped.
Use the links from this page to find out more about Northern WoodHeat, what it aims to do and how the objectives will be achieved in each of the participating countries.
These pages will be updated regularly as the project progresses.
Click on the flags below to find out more information about Northern Woodheat in these countries.
For more information about Northern WoodHeat, the website updates or woodfuel use in general contact:
The Project Manager,
Munlochy IV8 8NN
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