Forestry Commission logo

Forestry Statistics 2013 - Sources

Sources: Timber

previous | next  

Woodfuel and pellets

Introduction

Data on woodfuel have been obtained from the following sources:

  • Sawmill survey and survey of round fencing manufacturers;
  • Private sector softwood removals survey and woodfuel suppliers;
  • Expert Group on Timber & Trade Statistics estimates.

Estimates of the quantity of recycled wood used for woodfuel are produced by the Wood Recyclers' Association (www.woodrecyclers.org).

Data on UK pellet production are obtained from the survey of UK pellet and briquette production.

For details on roundwood deliveries for woodfuel, see the Sources: other deliveries page.

Figures are published as UK totals.

Data collected

The sawmill survey and survey of round fencing manufacturers included questions asking for the quantity of woodfuel:

  • sold to bioenergy,
  • sold as firewood and
  • used internally for heat/energy.

All 3 questions have been included in the detailed sawmill survey (sent to sawmills believed to produce at least 10 thousand m3 sawnwood annually) for some time. The sawmill survey (for smaller mills) was extended in the 2006 survey to cover quantities sold to bioenergy and again in the 2008 survey to cover firewood sales and use for heat/energy. All three questions were included in the round fencing survey for the first time in 2008. 

The survey of UK pellet and briquette production was run for the first time for the collection of 2009 data. The questionnaire at www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/pellet12q.pdf/$FILE/pellet12q.pdf asks for data on the total quantity of pellets and briquettes produced, the source of fibres used, the origin of wood used and product markets.

Response rates

Response rates for the sawmill survey and survey of round fencing manufacturers are available on the relevant sources pages.

The 2012 survey of UK pellet and briquette production was sent to a total of 21 companies that were believed to manufacture pellets or briquettes. A total of 5 responded, giving a response rate of 25%. The respondents to the survey are estimated to account for around 75% of the total production of pellets and briquettes in the UK in 2012.

Whilst the low response rates to this survey (particularly in the most recent year) are of some concern, it is believed that many of the non-respondents are not (currently) producing pellets or briquettes. This is reflected in the much higher weighted response rates and the figures produced are believed to give a reasonable estimate of the true level of UK pellet production.

Survey of UK Pellet & Briquette Production Response Rates, 2009-2012
Year    Forms issued Response received Response rate1 Weighted
Response rate2

2009

33

17

52%

 89%

2010

27

12

44%

 95%

2011

22

10

45%

 92%

2012

21

5

24%

 75%

Notes:

1. Response rates are calculated as the number of responses received divided by the number of forms issued.

2. Weighted response rates are an estimate of the proportion of total UK pellet and briquette production that is accounted for by respondents.


Methodology

Details of the methodology used for the sawmill survey and survey of round fencing manufacturers are available on the relevant sources pages.

For the survey of UK pellet and briquette production, estimates were made for non respondents using results from previous surveys (including the 2008 woodfuel suppliers survey) and expert advice.

Quality

Detailed information on the pellet survey quality is available in the "Quality Report: Survey of UK Pellet & Briquette Production" at www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/ukpelletqrpt.pdf/$FILE/ukpelletqrpt.pdf.

Further quality information on FC Official Statistics is available at: www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-7zhk85

Revisions

All figures are subject to revision annually, as new information becomes available.

Figures for 2012 are final; provisional figures were previously released in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2012 provisional figures". The wood pellet and briquette production figure for 2012 has been revised downwards from 279 to 278 thousand tonnes, as a result of late returns and final data checks.

Figures for earlier years have not been revised from those provided in "Forestry Statistics 2012".

Further information

Figures for Woodfuel Demand and Usage in Scotland, covering actual and potential use of woodfuel in the commercial, industrial and electrical energy sectors, are produced annually by Forestry Commission Scotland and available at www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-7tdhjn

The Department of Energy and Climate Change publishes an annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics (www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-energy-climate-change/series/digest-of-uk-energy-statistics-dukes). Chapter 7 of this digest covers renewable sources of energy including wood. Figures for wood use in renewable energy statistics take into account wood from all sources (including processed wood, recycled wood and imports), not just UK-grown roundwood.

Release schedule

Provisional figures for 2013 will be released on 15 May 2014 in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2013 provisional figures".

Final figures for 2013 will be released on 25 September 2014 in "Forestry Statistics 2014". 

Links to Forestry Statistics 2013