Invented in the 1970s, in the United States, pellet heating then slowly appears in Europe in the 1990s and it quicky reached an unexpected success.
To give you an idea, in France pellet production was 20 000 tonnes in 2002. It reached 800 000 tonnes in 2013. That is 40 times more. This development will further intensify in the future.
The questions about this fuel are still many, the hopes but the fears too. How are the prices of this type of heating going to change? Could there be a shortage and therefore a rise in prices?
In this article we will try to address the main concerns of consumers about pellet heating.
The first concern about this type of heating, relates to the price of pellets.
We can see that despite the strong growth in demand and the success of the pellet, prices have not gone up. There was of course an increase but the pellet is still cheaper than other fuels.
Source: AIEL, Changes in the cost of primary energy in Italy (2000-2014)
One presumes it will be the same in the years to come. Prices are expected to remain stable due to the increase in the number of pellet producers and government assistance.
Will we ever run out of pellets?
At first, pellet heating came from the recovery of waste from sawmills. Today, sawdust is no longer sufficient to cope with demand. It therefore uses wood from forestry. But it is not a question of clearing the forest as in the Amazon rainforest.
Forest are widely distributed in Europe. Moreover, as Eric Vial, director of Propellet in France recalls, the forest is under exploited. 40% of which is not used. In short, there is still scope with our forests.
By the 2000s, there were 70 producers of pellets in Europe. They went to 200 in 2004 only to see their numbers subsequently increase steadily. Currently, France has no fewer than 60 pellet production sites and Italy 90 producers.
The quality of the pellets is also increasing. 80% of the granulated product in France is labelled DINplus. The production of wood pellets is structured to meet an ever increasing demand.
In addition to the exploitation of our forests and the use of sawmill waste, pellet heating today foresees new sources of supply: the pellets derived from Biomass.
Biomass is the use of other materials other than wood for making the granules.
For example, new opportunities are available through the recovery of green waste. This can now be recycled to become a fuel. The processes are complex because it must take into account a high level of humidity.
Another source of supply for wood pellets, comes from the vine. Also in Italy, Spain and France there is no shortage of the vine. The vine shoots are recovered and recycled to become a fuel for pellet heaters.
Pellet heating can be viewed with peace of mind by all. It is a response to a major issue of our time, that of energy transition. Oil and gas do not have a bright future. In addition to using wood for heating it enables the creation of jobs and wealth among us, in France, Italy and Europe. Heating with wood pellets is almost an issue for citizens.
The price of wood pellets is lower than those of other energy sources. The sectors are organizing themselves and production capacity is increasing. Finally, the prospects offered by agro-pellets is a source of hope for an improved recycling of our waste.
The author: Roger Abiza
After working in the real estate industry for several years, focusing in particular on the sale of renewable energy systems, Roger Abiza founded the blog www.mon-poele-a-pellet.com at the beginning of 2013.
In a short time, the blog, which is dedicated to themes concerning pellet heating, has attracted the attention of hundreds of Internet users who use it on a daily basis to exchange information and opinions. Every week, Roger publishes reviews, tips, experiences and interviews with experts in this sector, always trying to keep an impartial approach with a practical and simple style.
The combination of Monpoeleapellet with another blog dedicated to wood heating (Poêlesabois.com) integrates and enriches the information provided, thus offering the opportunity to calculate the power of our own stove and receive quotations and offers.
More than in any other field, pellet heating requires experience and expertise which many businesses do not have. For this reason we like to highlight the businesses that are passionate about this type of heating. - Roger Abiza, founder of Monpoeleapellet.com