Sirgmets, R., Kaimre, P. and Padari, A. 2012. Forest Sector Impacts from the Increased Use of Wood in Energy Production in Estonia. Baltic Forestry 18(1): 125-132.

According to the directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union, it is mandatory for member countries to work out the action plans to increase the share of renewable energy sources in energy final gross consumption by 2020. Until now the forest sector impacts from the increased use of wood in energy production in Estonia has not been studied. The targets of the current paper are: 1) To assess the impact of the increased use of wood in the energy production to the demand of timber in Estonia; 2) To identify the factors which have influenced the price of fuelwood in Estonia; 3) To analyse the impact of price changes of lower quality timber on the optimal rotation period of the forest management in Estonia. To achieve the targets written down in the Estonian Energy Sector Development Plan until 2020, it is necessary to use additional 1.14 million m3 of solid wood in the energy sector per year, which forms approximately 15% of total domestic timber consumption in Estonia. The price of the traditional fuelwood has increased significantly (300%) compared to other assortments during the last 20 years in Estonia. The correlation analysis revealed the strongest correlations between the fuelwood price in Estonia and the price changes of globally most important fossil fuels (crude oil and natural gas) as well as domestic demand for wood fuels in Estonia. The price changes of lower quality roundwood assortments (fuelwood and pulpwood) do not have significant impact on the stands net revenue maturity age.

 Key words: bioenergy, wood supply, fuelwood, timber prices, rotation period