Feature Reports

Wood in France: An Energy Source With a Promising Future

Wood, in both its residential and industrial uses, is the leading source of renewable energy in France.
Wood, in both its residential and industrial uses, is the leading source of renewable energy in France. ©THINKSTOCK

For our ancestors, wood was both a major source of energy and an essential building material. Nowadays, France's forests are growing year after year, which means that wood energy, the number one renewable, can be further developed for use in households and district heating. Moreover, public authorities are backing its development. However, monitoring will need to be undertaken to control fine particle and other pollutant emissions, as well as to protect biodiversity and preserve landscapes, which are vital for tourism.

La place originale du bois énergie dans le mix énergétique français

In France, wood is the top source of bioenergy and the number one renewable energyEnergy sources that are naturally replenished so quickly that they can be considered inexhaustible on a human time scale... source, outranking hydropower and coming in well ahead of wind and solar energy. More than 95% of this wood is used to produce heatIn the field of statistical thermodynamics today, heat refers to the transfer of the thermal agitation of the particles making up matter..., whether in industrial or household settings, while the rest is used to generate electricityForm of energy resulting from the movement of charged particles (electrons) through a conductor.... This type of energy is called wood energy.

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Le bois énergie et la gestion de la forêt française

Over the coming years, wood is set to play an increasing role in energy production. But does this put French forests at risk? Experts at the French National Forests Office (ONF) and the French Renewable Energies Syndicate (SER) do not see any cause for concern. They believe that there is huge scope to use wood as an energy source and that forest management will improve as a result.

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Se chauffer au bois

For many centuries, burning wood was the main source of heatIn the field of statistical thermodynamics today, heat refers to the transfer of the thermal agitation of the particles making up matter... for mankind. Today, households are once again turning to wood, so much so that France is now the leading market in Europe for wood-fired heating systems, ahead of Norway, Germany and Italy. But wood-heating technologies have changed a lot in the last decade. Now a thing of the past, open fires have been replaced by increasingly sophisticated stoves and furnaces.

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