The role of wood energy in Near East countries

FAO's Wood Energy Programme's Wood Energy Today for Tomorrow (WETT) collects, reviews and collates existing information and data on woodfuels and its related energy aspects at the national level through the preparation of regional studies. The main aim of these studies is to overcome the shortcomings encountered in the main wood energy databases and to fill the major data gaps. New and improved wood energy data will contribute to: a) how, where and how much woodfuel is used in different countries and regions; b) describing the contribution of forests, woodlands and trees to the energy sector; c) assessing the environmental impacts; and d) identifying the main critical problem areas to be tackled for the development of sustainable wood energy systems.
The latest working document in the WETT regional series has now been prepared and covers countries in the Near East. This study presents an overview of the total wood energy consumption in 28 Near East countries, based on information available in selected international organizations, and makes recommendations for further improvements of Wood Energy Information Systems.

It is hoped that the development of improved wood energy data will contribute to the better understanding of wood energy systems and to the planning of more sustainable production and utilization. Unfortunately, the information available is still very weak and there are many data gaps to be filled.

For this reason, you can help us by providing more details and updated data on woodfuel aspects and issues. Please contact Mr Miguel Trossero or Ms Sandra Rivero at the address given on the first page.

Institutional and legal aspects regulating wood energy activities in European countries

In 1995, biomass and wastes accounted for almost 99 percent (excluding hydropower) of total renewable energy among European countries. Overall, figures and statistics show that renewable energy accounts for 6 percent of total energy production. This is a modest contribution to the total energy balance when compared with the technical potential of renewable energy in general, and biomass and wastes, in particular.

France, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Germany are among the countries in the European Union where wood energy consumption is largest. In Sweden, the share of biomass and waste exceeded 99 percent during that period. The southern European countries, such as Spain, Portugal and Italy, follow. Among the non-European Union countries, Turkey is the largest wood energy consumer, followed by the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania.

Biomass, when produced and managed in a sustainable manner, provides a multitude of advantages. It not only serves as an energy provider, but also as an environmentally favourable and economically beneficial resource. During the past decades, some European countries have seen a phenomenal outcome from their technological research, development and demonstration projects for biomass. Efficient power, heat and gasification plants have proved to be scientific and experimental successes.

Seen from another perspective, many European countries were likewise urged to investigate the more pragmatic and functional side of the bioenergy industry. Institutional foundations and legal groundwork needed setting up or, as in many cases, needed further development. This working document deals with the general backdrop of European institutional policies, strategies and projects in the area of bioenergy development. Furthermore, it also touches base with the manner in which the legal system in many European countries serves as a conduit to the all-embracing need to promote and develop biomass energy. The case review of 25 countries typifies what and how much these countries have already accomplished, and how much work is still to be done in the areas of institutional building and legal operations.

Sensing the fast changing horizon, FAO's Wood Energy Programme, with its long-standing interest in biomass energy, has taken the initiative to undertake a study of this nature. This study led to the working document Institutional and legal aspects regulating wood energy activities in European countries , which has been prepared with the collaboration of the Italian Biomass Association (ITABIA). Copies are available upon request.

Many significant insights and lessons can be generated from the various experiences among European countries in relation to the evolution of institutional and legal structures. These countries can learn a great deal from each other. More important, developing countries worldwide which are currently trying to establish and develop their own respective institutional fabric and legal foundation vis--vis biomass systems development will find this knowledge useful. As always, the "Latecomers' advantage" is one positive impact of any development effort.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Miguel Trossero at the address given on the first page.

Industrial uses of biomass energy - the example of Brazil

Edited by Frank Rosillo-Calle, Kings College London, UK; Sergio V. Bajay, State University of Campinas, Brazil; and Harry Rothman, University of the West of England, UK.

ISBN 0-7484-0884-3.

This book demonstrates that energy-rich vegetation, biomass, is a key renewable energy resource for the future. Most energy scenarios recognize bioenergy as an important component in the world outlook, both in developed and developing countries. Brazil, uniquely, has a recent history of large-scale biomass industrial uses that makes it a specially important test-bed both for the development of biomass technology and its utilization, and for understanding how this is shaped by political and socio-economic forces. Perhaps the most famous development is PROALCOOL, the national programme for producing fuel for the nation's cars from alcohol derived from sugar, as a substitute for petrol. But other sectors of the Brazilian economy traditionally, and currently, use biomass as a major energy source.

For more information on this publication, please contact:
Andy Howes, Taylor and Francis Ltd, 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE, UK.

Fax: +44 02 7842 2021;

e-mail: andy.howes@tandf.co.uk

Understanding America's climate change policy: realpolitik, pluralism and ethical norms

OCEES Research Paper No. 15, June 1998. By P.G. Harris. ISBN 1 899764 18 6. 101 pp.

The author has several copies remaining of his research report from the Oxford Centre for the Environment, Ethics and Society (OCEES) at Mansfield College, Oxford University. He will be happy to send these to anyone who requests them; the only cost would be to cover postage (approximately US$10 to ship one copy of the report to most places outside Hong Kong). Non-profit organizations with severe funding shortages should contact Dr Harris.

For more information, please contact the author:

Dr Paul Harris, Project on Environmental Change & Foreign Policy, Department of Politics and Sociology, Lingnan
University, Tuen Mun, New Territories, China, Hong Kong SAR.

Fax: +852 2891 7940;

e-mail: pharris@ln.edu.hk




The woodfuel scenario and policy issues in the Philippines (FD 59), 2000

Development and Implementation of ICS Programmes - National Workshop Indonesia,
(RM 54), 2000

A study of the share of fuelwood in total wood production in private tree plantations in Lao PDR
(RM 52), 2000

Setting up fuel supply strategies for large-scale bio-energy projects using agricultural and forest residues: a methodology for developing countries
(RM 53), 2000

Woodfuel Production and Marketing in Pakistan - National Workshop Pakistan
(RM 55), 2000

Wood fuel trade in India
(RM 56), 2000

Public forests, fuelwood collection and migration: a case study in northwest Bengal, India
(FD 60), 2000

Wood Energy, Climate and Health: an international expert consultation
(FD 58), 2000

Wood energy under Kyoto,
Vol. 15.2, 2000

Most of these publications can be downloaded from the RWEDP Web site.

For more information, please contact:
RWEDP, c/o RAP, Maliwan Mansion, Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand.

Fax: +66 2 280 0760;

e-mail: RWEDP@fao.org;


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