Potentials for reducing the health and climate impacts of residential biomass combustion in the Nordic countries

This report presents recommendations for how to further improve national activity data collection procedures, and scenario results with estimated technical potentials for reduced emissions of SLCPs and PM2.5 from residential biomass combustion, transformed into potential impact on health and climate effects in 2035. Denna rapport finn endast på engelska.


Residential biomass combustion is a major source of PM2.5 and SLCP (Short Lived Climate Pollutants) emissions in the Nordic countries. SLCPs and PM2.5 have impact on climate, environment and health. To develop strategies for reducing emissions and the associated impacts, reliable information on current emissions and how they can be reduced by measures such as upgrading or exchange of combustion technologies is essential.

There are uncertainties in the underlying data used in the emission inventories for residential biomass combustion. Detailed enough knowledge on the amount and moisture content of biomass fuel used in different combustion technologies is needed, as well as knowledge about user related factors such as combustion behaviour.

There are similarities between Denmark, Finland and Sweden, but also some significant differences in national equipment and use patterns in addition to activity data collection procedures. Differences related to information on activity data are mainly in the status of knowledge and the type and sources of information available and/or used. In general for all three countries, procedures to regularly update information on technologies, user behaviour and fuel amounts combusted in each technology are needed to be able to prepare reliable emission inventories and to reflect future changes. As the current data collection procedures in the countries have evolved somewhat differently, but all with the same ultimate objective of good enough data for emission inventory purposes, lessons can be learnt from each other, as appropriate.

The scenario results suggest that there is a realistic and technical potential to reduce the adverse health effects and, to some extent, the climate impact from future residential biomass combustion in Denmark, Finland and Sweden by reducing emissions of SLCPs and PM2.5. The level of used amounts of wood, penetration of modern technology in residential biomass combustion and the user behaviour in managing the combustion process all have significant impacts on the emission levels in the three Nordic countries. The amount of biomass fuel combusted was not investigated in this study and the total amount of biomass was kept constant in all scenarios. Find the result in the study in the report.

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