Wood is considered humankind’s very first source of energy. Today it is still the most important single source of renewable energy providing about 6% of the global total primary energy supply. Wood fuel is a fuel, such as firewood, charcoal, chips, sheets, pellets, and sawdust. The particular form used depends upon factors such as source, quantity, quality and application. Today, burning of wood is the largest use of energy derived from a solid fuel biomass. In the case of burning wood, stored potential energy (in the form of chemical energy) in the log is released due to heating by other excited atoms. Wood pellets and other agglomerated energy products are made from dried sawdust, shavings or wood powder, with the raw material being compressed under high pressure. Pellets and agglomerates are currently the most economical way of converting biomass into fuel and are a fast-growing source of energy. They can be used for electricity production or directly for combustion in residential and commercial heating. Wood fuels arise from multiple sources including forests, other wooded land and trees outside forests, co-products from wood processing, postconsumer recovered wood and processed wood-based fuels. Wood energy is also an important emergency backup fuel. Societies at any socio-economic level will switch easily back to wood energy when encountering economic difficulties, natural disasters, conflict situations or fossil energy supply shortages. Today wood energy has entered into a new phase of high importance and visibility with climate change and energy security concerns.

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