Wood is a regenerative raw material. European wood reserves grow by approx. 770 million m3 every year, of which only two thirds is felled at present. The pellet supply is therefore assured for the long term, even with increasing demand.
In 1997, Austrian pellet production capacity stood at only 5000 tonnes per year. By the end of 2012, this figure had increased to 1.35 million tonnes.
With forecast annual consumption of around 840,000 tonnes, Austria's pellet producers can therefore supply almost twice as many pellets as is actually required.
Precarious in the long term! Because their stocks are assessable. They are becoming progressively scarcer with prices fluctuating wildly as a result and the security of supply more difficult, also due to political instability in the countries involved.
All these developments are reflected in the price, e.g. for fuel oil. Between January 2009 and January 2013, the price per litre for fuel oil almost doubled and now stands at around €1/litre. For households that could rely on this fuel until a few years ago, this situation is increasingly turning into a cost trap.
© ÖkoFEN 2012