In Germany, wood has become an interesting alternative for domestic heating. Today, Germany has around eight million wood boilers, with an expected increase of 200.000 new boilers per year.
This development is explained firstly by the importance of the subsidies granted by the German State for the use of renewable energies. In fact, as part of its market stimulation program, the federal government supports the acquisition of a wood-fired boiler up to 1360 euros, provided that its output is greater than 90%. Regional financial support can also be obtained, as in the Land North Rhine-Westphalia which grants additional support of 1.500 euros.
The development of wood boilers is also due to the sharp increase in fossil fuel prices. Indeed, according to the German federation of real estate companies, the price of fossil heating energy would have increased by 50% between 2000 and 2005. Given the tense situation in the world energy market, this situation is brought to extend. Wood fuel is therefore becoming an increasingly profitable alternative.
The increase in the number of wood-fired boilers is finally explained by the development of new high-performance devices, such as pellet stoves with automatic feed. Pellets are small sawmill residues such as shavings or sawdust. In 2005, 14.000 pellet stoves were sold in Germany, a doubling of sales compared to 2004.
The total number of pellet stoves in use in Germany today stands at around 40.000.