Institute of

International Forestry and Forest Economics


Anna Frerck
Institute of International Forestry and Forest Economics

Leuschnerstraße 91
21031 Hamburg-Bergedorf
Phone: +49 40 739 62 301
Fax: +49 40 739 62 399

New article · Wood energy is an important renewable energy source that plays a significant role in achieving climate protection goals and in the resource-efficient circular economy.


Data on the use of wood energy can be found in forest products and energy statistics.

(© BLE/Peter Meyer · Michael Welling)

However, the respective reference units are different. Forestry and timber statistics mainly use volume units such as cubic meters, while energy statistics mainly use energy units such as joules. The use of non-harmonized conversion factors can lead to differences in the statistics. Harmonization of conversion factors, and thus of statistics, improves data quality and makes the assessment of sustainable wood use and competition for wood raw materials more precise. The resulting findings can also support political decision making.

The harmonization of wood energy data and its subsequent application require appropriate conversion factors. In our recent published article, we computed conversion factors for wood energy assortments used in the residential sectors of EU28 member states. These factors allow a harmonized conversion of weight or volume units into energy units. Selected forest products assortments include wood from primary, secondary and tertiary sources. This allows for consideration of different wood properties that influence the calculation of the conversion factors. As an additional aspect, data from international statistics for forest products and energy statistics are also compared.

  • Glasenapp S, Fonseca M, Weimar H, Döring P, Aguilar FX (2020) Conversion factors for residential wood energy in the European Union: an introduction to harmonizing units of measurement. Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev:in Press, DOI:10.1016/j.rser.2020.110491