This is our new campaign on the world's energy transition situation in 2022, which seems to be rapidly changing due to the new reality we have to live in. Stay tuned to find out weekly updates of the energy industry!
The headlines of July 2022 were worrying : 'Germany Worries Russia Will Use Pipeline Maintenance Issue As Pretext to Cut Gas Flow Completely’, ‘Brussels calls on member states to cut gas use by 15%’ , ‘Russian gas shutoff would send some EU countries into recession, IMF warns’. The countries are banning energy exports, the recession is coming, the supply chains are disrupted, the food catastrophe is on the way and the upcoming energy bills are frightening.
As Europe is trying to solve the problem with energy resources, they are now ready to sacrifice "green energy"
Countries that once advocated a "green revolution" are now urgently trying to bring coal and oil-fired power plants into operation. Germany and France are among the European countries temporarily delaying the scheduled closures of some coal-fired power plants, readying themselves for less electricity generated from gas-fired facilities. Some of the countries, like the Netherlands, have switched to cheaper coal for power generation back in 2021. South Africa is one of the coal-exporting countries that has stepped into the breach, exporting more coal to Europe in the first five months of March - July 2022 , than during all of 2021. As Russia continues using their natural resources as a ‘geopolitical weapon’, and the European Union will stop importing Russian coal in August, the concern about an upcoming heating season in European countries is growing.
Are there any more or less sustainable alternatives within the energy sector?
The answer is timber! Compared with coal, wood fuel cut carbon emissions by 74% to 85% when they took into account the entire life cycle of both fuels, including emissions from production and transportation, and possible land-use shifts. Of course, the timber industry will not provide the needed volumes of energy to replace the gap. However, according to The Deutsche Bank note on the current energy supply situation, that coal and lignite could replace natural gas in the industrial and power generating sectors, but that for domestic heating wood could become an option. And yes, it is not your visual illusion - the largest European bank now is advising to use firewood for heating in 2022!
Keep updated to find out more about the timber market, wood products efficiency and the market potential.