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Institute of

WF Forestry


Wood energy consumption in private households

© Dominik Jochem

Wood energy consumption in private households

The aim of this project is to empirically determine the wood energy consumption of German private households in 2020. The necessary collection of data will be undertaken for 10 000 households. The results will be an important basis for reporting and implemented in the estimation of felling for Germany.

Background and Objective

Wood energy is an important part of total renewable energy consumption in Germany. Also, in future it could be assumed that this would not change, whether caused by the need of climate-neutral production of energy or to guaranty the security of energy supply, wood will remain the most important renewable resources in Germany. This is why an overarching approach to gather all kinds of wood energy consumptions is so important. Due to the accounting of renewable energies, their classification in the German energy balance or to satisfy national and European reporting obligations, quality-assured data about the use of biogenic solid fuels in all relevant energy sectors is needed. Furthermore, this kind of data could also be used for the evaluation and conceptual development of political instruments for the heating sector. In this context the year 2020 is important because it is the base year were EU members have to build their targets for the extension of renewable energies on (EU-RL 2009/28/EG). On the other hand, 2020 is also the base year for the reporting period 2020-2030 in the course of regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action. Therefore, the aim of this project is to gather empirical data for this important year 2020 in Germany.

Target Group

Policy, Science


The basis of this project is a representative survey of the energetic wood consumption in about 10 000 German private households for the year 2020. On the basis of this sample the data for the whole population of German private households will be projected. In the next step the major factors of influence on the wood energy consumption in private households will be analysed. In the course of the “Systemic wood resource monitoring” about the wood energy consumption in private households the existing time series for the years 2005, 2010, 2014 and 2018 will be extended by the year 2020.


A key finding of this study is that a total of 5.5 million homes used fuelwood assortments for heating in 2020. 1.08 million dwellings (about one in five dwellings heated with wood), had wood-fired central heating. 

Another result of the study is that in 2020, each dwelling heated with wood used an average of 5.08 m³ of wood. If the use is differentiated according to firewood assortments, large differences can be seen in some cases. For example, the average use per dwelling is highest for wood pellets (5.46 m³) due to their frequent use in central heating systems, followed by forest logs with bark (4.14 m³). The consumption per dwelling in the remaining firewood assortments ranges in each case between 2.35 m³ for forest logs without bark and 0.38 m³ for kindling. 

In total, 26.95 million m³ of wood fuels were used in private households in Germany. This value is subject to statistical error. With a probability of 95 %, the "true" value is between 23.76 million m³ and 30.14 million m³. Of the 26.95 million m³ of wood fuel, 18.10 million m³ were used in wood-heated dwellings without wood central heating and 8.85 million m³ were used in dwellings with wood central heating. 

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Umweltbundesamt (UBA)
    (national, öffentlich)


12.2020 - 4.2022

More Information

Project funding number: 37EV 20 101 1
Project status: finished

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