EU forests & bioenergy



Contrary to common belief, EU-28 forests have been steadily growing over the past decades. In 1990 European forests represented a total of 19,7 billion m3 . In 2015, EU-28 forests reached 26,5 billion m3 , meaning that forest stock increased by 32% over the last quarter of a century.


This growth is due to two main reasons: forest areas increasing (1) and a growth of standing volumes (2) : (1) According to Eurostat, EU-28 forest coverage gained 322.800 hectares every year, meaning that European forests are increasing by the size of a football field every minute. (2) On average, about 63% of the annual forest increment in Europe is actually felled, meaning that 38% of this annual increment remains in forests. The situation can vary from one country to another. Forest densification is more common in the Mediterranean region, in countries such as Italy, France, Spain, and Slovenia, where at least 40% of the annual increment remains untouched. Bioenergy can play a major role in combatting forest degradation, thanks to extra sources of income to forest owners, municipalities and governments to manage their forests sustainably in the long-run




The percentage of wood removal harvested for the purpose of wood energy increased softly from 18% in 2000 to 22% in 2016. This remains around one fifth of the total harvest in the EU-28, a situation comparable to the 90’s. At the same time the consumption of bioenergy has doubled in Europe. This shows that the energy sector is not the main driver for forest owners to mobilize their forest resources, and that the bioenergy sector relies mainly on wood by-products and other types of biomass.


Want More Insight?


All statistics featured in this section come from Bioenergy Europe's 2017 Statistical Report. If you want more insight do not hesitate to download the 'Key Findings' of the report (free of charge) and order a copy of the full report (consult the table of content of the 2017 Edition).

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First published in 2007, Bioenergy Europe Statistical Report – European Bioenergy Outlook, has sought to provide European stakeholders with a comprehensive overview of the latest market trends in bio-heat, bio-electricity and bio-fuel sectors. The Full Report (200+ pages) gathers statistics, infographics and the most up-to-date data on the developments of the European bioenergy industry. The report is an important tool for the industry and for investors and policy makers to make informed evaluations and decisions. For more information, visit:

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