Kożuch A., Cywicka D., Adamowicz K., Wieruszewski M., Wysocka-Fijorek E., Kiełbasa P. (2023). The Use of Forest Biomass for Energy Purposes in Selected European Countries. Energies 16(15):5776.
The utilization of primary and secondary woody biomass resources, despite controversies, is being promoted to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and due to the need to diversify energy sources and ensure energy security in European Union countries. Forest biomass is one of the renewable and sustainable energy sources that can be used for electricity, heat, and biofuel production. In the context of the ongoing energy crisis in Europe, an attempt was made to analyze the production and consumption of woody biomass for energy purposes (fuel wood, chips, and pellets). Specifically, an analysis of similarities between European countries in terms of biomass utilization was conducted. The analysis was complemented by a forecast of primary biomass production in selected European countries. The similarity analysis was conducted using the Ward method. Artificial neural networks (ANNs), including multi-layer feedforward perceptron (MLP) and radial basis function (RBF) models, were used to predict fuelwood extraction. The study showed that woody biomass remains an important source of bioenergy in Europe, and its significance as a strategic resource guaranteeing energy security is likely to increase. Fuel wood harvesting in Europe generally shows an upward trend, particularly in the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Denmark, and the UK. A decreasing trend was observed in France, Spain, Greece, and Cyprus. The analysis revealed differences between countries in terms of woody biomass consumption. The ANN-based forecasts of fuelwood supply generally showed an increase in primary biomass harvesting.
Keywords: renewable energy; forest biomass; fuel wood productions; biomass management; European countries; similarity analysis