Since 2020, the wood energy market has been experiencing various trends and developments. Wood energy, encompassing wood logs (firewood), wood pellets, woodchips, and wood charcoal, has solidified its position as the leading renewable energy source in France, accounting for nearly 40% of the country's renewable energy consumption. However, within the overall French energy mix, its contribution remains below 4%. The forest area, which is vital for wood energy sourcing, covers 28% of metropolitan France, and it continues to grow annually. Globally, the bioenergy sector, with wood as a solid biofuel, accounted for 85.7% of total bioenergy consumption. Wood fuel production grew by 0.4% annually, while wood pellets and charcoal have seen significant production increases of 115% and 45%, respectively, showcasing a clear trend towards more processed wood energy products.

Despite these global growth trends, the French market displays stability, with an average market value around €2 billion since 2013. The residential sector remains the primary consumer, driving over 70% of wood energy demand, mainly for heating purposes. Wood energy is the most popular renewable energy source in France, making up 36% of the country's renewable consumption, and it also represents a significant portion of the renewable sector's employment. However, the popularity of wood as an energy source has been decreasing, with household consumption dropping by 16%.

Economic aspects show that wood energy remains the cheapest form of energy in terms of kW/h compared to traditional sources, but prices have seen a slow increase. The price can vary considerably by region, with a stere of wood rangings from €54 to €86 depending on the area. In terms of production, France commercialised 38.1 million cubic meters of roundwood in 2019, with softwoods being the most harvested type.

The market is segmented into several key players, including forestry operations, wood energy specialists, and generalist retailers. Regulations, primarily concerning forest and wood policy, continue to shape the sector's development and align with national energy transition goals.

in the French Wood Energy Market

The French wood energy market is experiencing steady growth within the realm of renewable energy sources, representing a significant 40% of the nation's renewable energy consumption. Despite this, its overall share in France's energy sector remains modest, contributing to less than 4% of the total energy consumed. The majority of wood energy consumption, over 90%, is allocated for heating purposes, with the residential sector being the primary consumer, accounting for roughly 70% of the total wood energy usage.

The French market for wood energy includes various sources such as wood logs, wood pellets, woodchips, and wood charcoal, but the focus largely remains on wood logs and wood pellets due to their higher demand. The scope of forest cover in France is vast, spreading across 28% of the territory in metropolitan areas and growing annually by approximately 50 to 100 thousand hectares. Looking at the global context, wood is a dominant player in the bioenergy sector, making up 85.7% of total bioenergy consumption worldwide.

Although the wood fuel market has seen an increase in production by 8.3%, it is the wood pellets sector that has exhibited the most rapid growth, surging by 115%. Europe leads the production of wood pellets, accounting for over half of the global output.

In France, the average spending on energy has stabilized at around 1,500 euros per household annually. Energy from wood, however, constitutes a mere 2.77% of this expenditure, with electricity being the primary expense. Even though wood energy is the leading type of renewable energy, overall, it contributes only 11.6% to the country's energy mix.

The stability of the French wood energy market is also highlighted by its valuation of approximately 2 billion euros, with a growth of close to 10%. The sector supports a sizeable number of jobs and is second only to hydraulic energy in terms of employment within the renewable energy field. The growth of wood energy consumption in certain sectors, such as the industrial and energy sectors, has been notable, with the energy sector's share of spending on wood energy rising significantly from 12.4% to over 20%. Sales of residential wood-burning appliances have shifted over the years from built-in to free-standing fireplaces.

Key Players in the French Wood Energy Market

In the dynamic landscape of the French wood energy market, several key players stand out, each serving unique segments and driving the sector's growth within their respective domains. Let's explore some of the prominent companies that have marked their presence in this green industry.

Forestry Management and Harvesting

The Office National des Forêts (ONF) is a pivotal entity in the French wood energy market, primarily responsible for the management and exploitation of public forests. They play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainable harvesting of wood, which serves as the primary resource for wood energy products.

Alliance Forêts Bois takes on a similar role, dealing with the management and exploitation of forests, thus contributing significantly to the supply of raw materials for the wood energy sector. Alongside these organizations, companies like Smurfit Kappa Comptoir du Pin and Comptoir des bois de Brive focus on the production and supply of wood products, catering to both energy-related and other industrial uses of wood.

Firewood Specialists

France bois bûche represents a sector specializing in firewood (wood logs for heating), ensuring a steady supply of this traditional form of wood energy to households across France. As the preference for sustainable and renewable heat sources rises, providers like France bois bûche become increasingly important in meeting residential heating needs.

Wood Energy Specialists

Companies such as Badger, Biosylva, Cogra, and EO2 are specialists in wood energy, often focusing on processing and supplying refined wood energy products like wood pellets and wood chips, which are gaining popularity due to their convenience and high energy output.

Generalist Retailers

General retailers like Bois de chauffage, Leroy Merlin, and Carrefour, though diverse in their offerings, contribute to the accessibility of wood energy products by stocking a variety of options for consumers. They cater to a broader audience by providing wood logs, pellets, and other firewood products, alongside their vast selection of household and building supplies.

Each of these players, from forest managers to specialist providers and generalist retailers, plays an important role in the structure and functioning of the French wood energy market. Together, they not only assure the availability of wood energy products but also reinforce the market's positioning in France's renewable energy landscape.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

The qualification of wood energy arises when wood is used for energy purposes, to produce heat, electricity or second-generation biofuels. Wood energy can be used as primary fuel but it can also be transformed industrially into by-products (solid, liquid or gaseous) that are also combustible.

Wood energy represents the the leading source of renewable energy in France (almost 40% of the total). However, despite its promising position within the renewable energy sector, its popularity is still not yet established within the overall energy sector of France. In fact, of the 245 toe (tonne of oil equivalent) of energy consumed in France in 2019, less than 4% came from wood energy.

Forest cover in France is extremely important for the wood energy in France, given how this is where the primary source of the product comes from. In fact, the forest covers 28% of the territory in metropolitan France (public and privately owned) and is growing by 75,000 hectares per year.

In terms of variations of wood energy sources, there are four main ones:

  • Woold logs (firewood): Comes from raw roundwood and little processing is needed
  • Wood pellets: Produced by compressing roundwood and typically comes from hardwood, although it may be a mix between hardwood and softwood
  • Woodchips: Made from shredded wood
  • Wood charcoal: Produced by heating the wood and removing all the water and oxygen from it

In this report, all of the sources will be mentioned, however, the scope will primarily cover wood logs (firewood) and wood pellets, given how they are the most significant in the French market.

The residential sector is by far the sector that consumes the most wood energy at 70% of the total consumption and therefore it is also the sector that contributes the most to the overall spending on this source of energy. On top of residential consumption, the main reason for consumption of wood energy is for heating purposes (over 90% of total wood energy consumption).

Beyond the residential heating which remains the main market outlet, the use of wood energy is also expanding industrial and district heating which have been progressing very rapidly since 2010.

Finally, the market for wood energy in France is extremely segmented, given how its operations are extremely dependant on local and regional operations.

List of charts

  • Consommation d'énergie provenant de sources renouvelables
  • Répartition de la consommation de bioénergie par source
  • Production mondiale de bois de chauffage
  • Distribution de la production mondiale de bois de chauffage par continent
  • Production mondiale de granulés de bois
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Latest news

Chimney manufacturer Poujoulat turns up the heat on wood energy - 25/11/2023
  • Company (1,700 employees) based in Saint-Symphorien (Deux-Sèvres), generates 40% of its sales in the wood energy segment
  • French leader in this segment
  • 401.9 million euros in sales by 2022
  • The Group, which originally specialized in chimney flues and industrial chimneys (60% of sales), recorded a 55% increase in wood-energy sales over the past year.
  • Acquisition of four plants in the last two years".
  • Its subsidiary, Bois Bûches Nord Atlantique, based in Loire-Atlantique and specialized in the production and distribution of wood energy in the Pays de la Loire region, joined the Poujoulat Group last July.
  • There are 2.6 million log and pellet-fired wood-burning appliances in French households s
  • 12 million households heat with gas in France
  • In Norway, 85% of single-family homes have a heat pump and are equipped with a wood-burning stove.
  • the company produces logs and pellets (six industrial sites), which it sells through brands dedicated to private and professional customers (Woodstock and Crepito)

Wood pellet producer EC Bionénergie invests 29 million euros in the Jura region | EC Bionénergie invests in the Jura region - 19/10/2023
  • EC Bioénergie specializes in the production and marketing of wood pellets, and has 175 employees.
  • It is a subsidiary of the German JRS Group, which employs 3,500 people at 90 sites.
  • EC Bioénergie has invested 29 million euros to set up its future plant in Souvans (Jura).
  • The wood pellet market is forecasting an increase in demand of around one million tonnes by 2028.
  • The new plant is scheduled to start production in the first quarter of 2025, and will employ 35 people.
Volkswagen overtakes Leroy Merlin in the ranking of foreign companies in Russia. - 03/10/2023
  • Leroy Merlin is now the 1st of the 50 largest foreign companies in Russia.
  • Leroy Merlin preserves the jobs of its 45,000 Russian employees.
Building : Léon Grosse gives shape to its Heritage division - 03/10/2023
  • HMR, a company specializing in the restoration of historic monuments, was acquired by Léon Grosse.
  • HMR achieved sales of 4 million euros in 2022.
  • 30 employees join the new Patrimoine entity of the Léon Grosse group.
  • Léon Grosse now employs over 2,500 people
  • Léon Grosse's total sales amount to 800 million euros.
  • The activity of Léon Grosse's Patrimoine division is worth around twenty million euros a year.
Leroy Merlin bets on the energy renovation market - 10/07/2023
  • The energy renovation market was estimated to be worth 30 billion euros in 2019, half of it for private individuals.
  • Leroy Merlin aims to become a leader in this market.
  • Energy renovation accounts for only 4% of Leroy Merlin's sales, but it is the fastest-growing sector.
  • 70,000 renovation projects were carried out last year, and 90,000 will be completed this year.
  • The average customer shopping basket is €40,000.
  • In two out of three cases, Leroy Merlin acts as project manager.
  • Leroy Merlin already has 1,200 partner craftsmen.
Wood pellets: Voé joins the Léon Grosse family - 20/06/2023
  • Construction group Léon Grosse, with sales of 800 million euros and 2,200 employees, has taken control of Voé, an energy operator based in northern France.
  • Granuloé is Voé's first production unit for pellets made from recycled wood, located in Labourse, near Béthune (Pas-de-Calais).
  • Voé was founded in 2020 and has 10 employees.
  • Voé achieved sales of 1 million euros.
  • Voé operates 3 biomass boiler plants, with a further 5 under construction and 10 planned.
  • The investment for the first Granuloé pilot unit is 3 million euros.
  • Granuloé will produce 3,000 tonnes of pellets a year, heating 3,000 homes annually.
  • Voé aims to open 10 to 15 production units similar to Granuloé, for a total output of 60,000 to 80,000 tonnes by 2030.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Office National des Forêts
Alliance Forêts Bois
Smurfit Kappa Comptoir du Pin
Comptoir des bois de Brive
France Bois Bûche
Total Proxi Énergies
Cogra S.A
Leroy Merlin France (Adeo)
Bourgogne Granulés industrie BGI
Soler Green

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