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Woodheat Solutions (WHS)

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The project aims at boosting bio-energy in the UK, Slovenia and Croatia, by using exemplar strategy from Finland and Austria. The project particularly addresses the barriers of insufficient co-operation, information and training within the agricultural and forestry sector and the lack of public awareness among decision-makers. – To mobilise the large biomass potential from fragmented privately owned forests and from agricultural land by increasing the co-operation among farmers and forest owners. – To integrate the agricultural and forestry sector into the energy market as a raw material supplier (e.g. wood chips) or as an energy supplier (e.g. bioheat) – To stimulate national and international exchange of experiences and knowledge transfer.


  • 1,400 market players have participated in workshops and training activities and 144 participants in study tours to Finland and Austria.
  • Several sites have now installed woodheat systems, including the National Trust’s Regional headquarters at Hughenden Manor in Buckinghamshire and the Slovenian Forestry Institute. The municipality of Pokupsko in Croatia is at an advanced stage of installing a district heating system using woodheat. Many more are actively exploring the practicalities and finances of installations.
  • The planned installations at the end of the project were for 12 MW in the UK, 1 MW in Slovenia and 2.6 in Croatia. Still more have been made aware of the opportunities and we expect several more to proceed over the next two years. In the UK this is also likely to increase due to launch of UK’s renewable Heat Incentive in March 2011.
  • Forests are subject to negotiations for new long term heat supply: 1,900 ha in UK (av. size of holding 5 ha), 1,100 ha in Slovenia (av. size of holding 3 ha), 650 ha in Croatia (av. Size of holding >1ha)
  • To encourage adoption of CEN/TS 335 standards by woodfuel producers and end-users the WhS Roadmap for Implementing Standards has been published alongside supporting leaflets introducing the key principles of the CEN standards.

Lessons learned

  • There are major business opportunities for woodland owners and rural businesses in Croatia, Slovenia and the UK to add value to their produce by selling heat directly. The value of wood, when used for heat production, should be related to its’ energy value rather than its’ volume. The technology to use wood as a fuel is very well established and continually evolving.
  • There is growing, but limited, knowledge and experience of installing woodfuelled heating systems in Slovenia, Croatia and the UK and there is a great deal that can be learnt from our colleagues in Austria and Finland – in particular in ensuring that systems are installed to a high standard
  • The interest from woodland owners and rural businesses in using wood as a renewable fuel source is growing exponentially and the incentives some member states are introducing to encourage the development of sustainable heat production are helping overcome the barriers of a new industry. Last update: 23.02.12

Partners and coordinator

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Forestry Commission
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Matthew Woodcock
0044 (0)1420 23337


Key documents

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In brief

01/10/2008 to 31/03/2011
Contract number: 

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