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A timber truck fully loaded with logs drives over a very simple wooden bridge in a forest.
© Thünen-Institut
A timber truck fully loaded with logs drives over a very simple wooden bridge in a forest.
Institute of

WF Forestry


Solid biomass in the sector TCS

© Thünen Institute

Wood energy consumption in the sector trade, commerce and services

At the latest, since the shift in German energy policy renewable energy sources became increasingly important. To provide policy with quantitative information on wood energy use, a good database is essential. The project solid biomass use in the sector trade, commerce and services (TCS) aims at improving data availability and quality in this regard.

Background and Objective

The project resource monitoring for wood, led by University of Hamburg in cooperation with Thünen-Institute, provides empirical data on the wood consumption for energetic as well as material use in Germany. The wood energy consumption is analyzed for private households, small-scale wood firing plants with a rated thermal input below 1 MW as well as large-scale wood firing plants with a rated thermal input of at least 1 MW. Information on the wood flows in these three sectors provide valuable information for national and international reporting schemes. In our project this data will be used to improve data quality and a time series of wood consumed for energy in the sector TCS. The sector TCS comprises commercial and public services, trade, agriculture, forestry, fishery as well as companies of the manufacturing sector which employ less than twenty people. The derived information will be further used for international reporting schemes.


In a first attempt a methodology was developed for calculating the wood energy consumption in the sector TCS (Weimar 2016). To do so the wood energy consumption of all wood firing plants is aggregated. From the total amount of wood used for energy, the amount used by the transformation sector and the industry sector is deducted. The remaining amount of wood for energy constitutes for wood consumed by the sector TCS. In our project we aim at a statistical formalization of this methodology.

In the first part of the project, an overview on studies will be provided concerning the energy use of the sector TCS as well as international reporting schemes that provide wood energy data. In the second part a regressive model will be specified using primary data from the wood resource monitoring project. The specified model will be used to estimate wood energy consumption data for a time series from 2003 to 2016.


The results of the literature analysis show that the use of wood in the sector TCS in the period from 2003 to 2017 is reported in different studies with a significant spread of about 10 PJ to 80 PJ. These differences cannot only be explained by statistical errors, but are rather based on fundamental uncertainties in the calculations. Especially the heterogeneity of the wood consumers and the incomplete data situation pose a major challenge here.

The results for estimating wood consumption in the sector TCS fit well into the picture of previous studies. From 2003 to 2006, there is a decreasing trend. From 2006 to 2017, wood consumption in the increases steadily, with minor interruptions, from 12 PJ (0.9 million t atro wood biomass) to 55 PJ (2.9 million t atro). The results suggest that the offcut approach provides fundamentally plausible results for the use of wood for energy in the sector TCS. Nevertheless, it should also be pointed out that the statistical analysis for the derivation of the time series could not be carried out in the analytical depth envisaged at the beginning of the project due to the limited database.


Dr. Holger Weimar

+49 40 739 62 314
+49 40 739 62 314


  • Sebastian Glasenapp

Funding Body

  • Umweltbundesamt (UBA)
    (national, öffentlich)


1.2017 - 1.2019

More Information

Project funding number: 37EV16 127 0
Project status: finished


  1. 0

    Glasenapp S, Weimar H (2020) GHD-Festbiomasse im Wärmesektor : Abschlussbericht zum Projekt im Auftrag des Umweltbundesamtes [online]. Dessau: Umweltbundesamt, 127 p, Texte UBA 27, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 07.01.2020]

  2. 1

    Weimar H (2016) From empirical studies to bioenergy statistics: bridging the GAP of unrecorded wood-bioenergy in Germany. In: 9th International Scientific Conference : The path forward for wood products: A global perspective ; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, October 5th - 8th 2016 . Baton Rouge: WoodEMA, pp 135-142

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