Wood shortage on the horizon
By The Holland Times Wed. 18 July 2012
Within a few years, it is likely that the Netherlands will suffer from a significant shortage of wood, reports de Trouw. Wood is currently used as the country's main renewable energy source, however demand is expected to outstrip supply in coming years, resulting in a significant rise in the price of wood.
So-called high energy wood is used for many things, including burning in incinerators to generate power. An annual shortfall in wood supply of 20 million cubic meters has been predicted in the Netherlands by 2020. However, Probos, an organisation that provides services in the field of sustainable forest management, says new figures indicate this might actually happen as soon as 2015. Importing wood to cover the shortfall is not seen as an option due to the impracticalities of transporting it over long distances.
According to Martijn and Jan Oldenburg Boosten of Probos in Wageningen, the Netherlands must urgently respond to the shortage by planting willow, a very fast growing species. This had previously been investigated as a solution, but was abandoned because of expense concerns. But with the timber shortage on the horizon and the rising price of raw material, the willow fields will indeed be profitable in five years time.