ECONOMICALLY SUSTAINABLE because using wood ensures revenue, market, and economic prosperity for local and national companies on an otherwise unexploited product. In the view of a trickle-down economy, where the outputs of a process are the inputs of the following process, the wood supply chain “waste” material is a valuable source for energy production. From an ecological perspective, this is a perfect representation of a cycle. Where nothing comes by accident, nothing is simply thrown away and everything is exploited.
ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE because using wood is perfectly within the scope of the much discussed renewable energy. Obviously, in union and synergy with all the other renewable. Even though it is true that wood combustion pollutes – in terms of air pollutant emissions, emissions are easily controlled by modern combustion systems. Pollutant emission levels are nearly negligible in most energy efficient five-star certified boilers .
Considering CO2 emissions, which inevitably derive from the combustion process, wood combustion for energy purposes has a net zero carbon balance. The CO2 generated from the combustion of wood coming from properly managed wood production systems, where less wood is harvest than what is annually produced by the forest and where forest stands can thus regenerate, is stored in equal amounts in the new-growth plant. Furthermore, if the fuel is the waste of other wood uses, the balance can even be negative. Only part of the CO2 stored in the plant is actually burned while the rest is kept in the wood source.
In short, a small step for the lumberjack (or rather, a small forest cut), but a giant step for mankind toward the hope of an efficient and affordable future.