With 2020 edging closer by the day, the pressure is on European Union (EU) member states to meet the Renewable Energy Directive’s main mission to ensure that 20% of energy used is coming from renewable sources by 2020. While this goal may seem difficult to reach, the EU is actually at an advantage thanks to one major source of energy already being used – wood pellets.
Wood pellets are a form of biomass used for energy. Discarded wood-based material is dried and processed into an easy-to-work-with pellet form. These pellets can be burned in specialized stoves, fireplace inserts, and central heating systems, making them an accessible solution for homeowners and business-owners alike.
The only issue here is that the colossal amount of wood pellets needed to sustain these countries far exceeds the amount produced in the EU. Therefore, the majority come from other regions, including the U.S. and Canada. Even in the U.S., however, wood pellets are a hot commodity. About 80% of the pellets produced here are kept for domestic use. In contrast, Canada exports about 90% of their product, mostly to Europe.
Because wood pellets have such low moisture and ash content, they are more efficient than other wood-based fuels, with very little resulting waste. And because they are made from wood residue and waste, rather than actual logging, they are sustainable. Even the burning process is carbon-neutral.
For these reasons and more, wood pellets are a viable source of alternative energy, helping to achieve sustainability goals in many applications.