Greenhouse Benefits of Firewood

Warm your home without harming the planet

Did you know that by using sustainably harvested firewood to heat your home you can help to reduce Australia’s greenhouse emissions?

A 2003 CSIRO study for the Australian Greenhouse Office showed that firewood produces the least amount of carbon dioxide of all heating energy sources.

The report states, “sustainable firewood production systems have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions”. This is because in sustainably managed forests, growing trees absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide that is released when firewood is burnt. There are some other greenhouse gas emissions associated with burning firewood and with its transport, but it is practically a carbon neutral system.

Even “green” energy generators such wind farms, hydro stations and solar collectors create a lot of greenhouse gas during their manufacture and construction.

Firewood should be recognised as a practical, readily available source of “green” energy. Unlike other sources, firewood does not need major capital investment or infrastructure. Every tonne of dry firewood contains approximately 20,000 Megajoules of stored energy. To understand how this stored energy compares to other forms of “green” energy such as wind power, you need to convert the electricity they produce from Megawatt hours into Megajoules. One Megawatt hour equals 3.600 Megajoules. This means that a typical 660kW wind turbine will generate approximately the same amount of energy in one year as you can get from 315 tonnes of firewood. A 2000 study estimates Australia’s annual firewood consumption at around 4,000,000 tonnes. This is equivalent to the annual output of 12,700 (660 kW) wind turbines or six large (500 MW) coal fired power stations.

Using firewood to heat our homes is an excellent way to reduce our reliance on coal-fired power generation.

Purchase your firewood from FAA suppliers to be confident that the wood has been harvested legally from sustainable sources so that biodiversity and threatened species have been protected. Avoid disreputable firewood sellers by seeking out a sustainable firewood supplier to be sure that you are actually getting the wood type and quantity that you pay for.

By burning properly seasoned sustainable firewood, sold by FAA licensed suppliers, in a well maintained fireplace or woodheater you can enjoy your fire knowing that you are helping the environment.