Fuelwood

Photo of a wood-fuelled heater in Glencoe Visitor Centre, Scotland

Fuelwood can provide both cheap heating and power, especially for remote rural areas, as well as being a source of local employment. It comes in a variety of forms - logs, woodchips, pellets, offcuts and sawdust - and can be used in wood stoves, house boilers, district heating schemes, and for power generation.

This project builds on growing interest in fuelwood schemes, combined with practical experience from this and other countries, to promote schemes in rural Scotland. Using new technology, community-based schemes are now economically viable and can provide for heating and power needs. Such schemes can use forest and woodland waste as well as the by-products of timber processing. Due to the cost of transport, small-scale fuelwood schemes are nearly always more economic than large schemes (unless the large scheme can sell both heat and power or uses "waste" material from timber processing.

While many local people in rural areas are interested in fuelwood, most are put off by the high startup costs involved. Experience in Scandinavia has shown that community-based fuelwood schemes can be cost-effective. We are also aware that the vast majority of fuelwood used for heating in Scandinavia is used in domestic log stoves.

Working with a range of partners and funders, the project has delivered:

Due to funding constraints, current activities are limited to producing Scottish Woodfuel News (third issue published October 2007). However, there are plans to carry out further work as funding permits.

To get in touch about the project, or to offer material for future issues of Scottish Woodfuel News, please email .

More information

Scottish Woodfuel News 1 (Nov 2004)

Including a report on the South West Scotland Fuelwood Seminar, a listing of community woodfuel schemes in Scotland, and useful fuelwood contacts.

Download Scottish Woodfuel News No.1 here (PDF file (PDF file) LARGE FILE - 3.7MB)

Scottish Woodfuel News 2 (May 2007)

Including a feature on the Finnish perspective, and a map of small-scale woodfuel schemes in Scotland:

Download Scottish Woodfuel News No.2 here (PDF file (PDF file) 215KB)

Scottish Woodfuel News 3 (November 2007)

Including Forestry Commission Scotland Woodfuel Update, Northern WoodHeat Conference, and a domestic woodfuel case study:

Download Scottish Woodfuel News No.3 here (PDF file (PDF file) 250KB)

Reforesting Scotland Journal

Cover of issue 28 of Reforesting Scotland

Issue 28 (Autumn 2002) of the Reforesting Scotland Journal has a special feature on fuelwood, and contains the following articles:

If you wish to buy this issue, please see the information on ordering back issues on the Reforesting Scotland Journal page.

Community Woodland information sheets

Cover of the Community Woodland information sheet on fuelwood

Information Sheet 11 gives a general introduction to woodfuel. The sheet is an introduction to the techniques and equipment used for small and community scale fuelwood schemes, and also features a list of sources for obtaining more information. It is divided into the following sections:

More detailed information is given in Information Sheet 11a (Fuelwood for Homes) and 11b (Fuelwood for Communities).

Information on ordering this sheet can be found on the information sheets page.

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