European market trends for low-power biomass boilers (6-60 kW)

European market research carried out within the BioMaxEff, R&D project of the 7th EU Framework Programme.
Biomass central heating vs. other systems . 2010 saw 3.5 million solid fuel apparatus sold, including those for fossil fuels, biomass and stoves and fireplaces for direct heating. Compared to other boilers for central heating, solid biomass made up only a small part of the total.Average boiler power for over 60 kW (non-domestic appliances) is 90 kW for manual equipment and pellets, and 160 kW for wood chips.
Medium and low power (6-60 kW) domestic biomass boilers
The EU-27 had a stock in 2010 of around 5 million biomass low power boilers (pellets, chips and wood) (barely 5% of all domestic boilers in operation), most of which were in Poland and Rumania. These two countries make up 30% of the total EU market. Spain is in 14th position with 80,000 units sold in 2010.Only 20% of the low power boilers using solid fuels are automatically fed.
Market trend for domestic equipment
In a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario, wood-fired boiler sales would fall sharply from 2010 to 2025 (-40%), as would those for chip boilers (-32%), whereas pellet boiler sales would increase by 62% by 2017 to then gradually decline towards 2025.

By using sales estimates for biomass boilers the situation for equipment numbers can be forecast up to 2025: chip boilers would decrease significantly (49% from 2010 to 2025), due to the low sales volume and the replacement of these appliances at the end of their useful life by other boilers. The pellet boiler stock would increase by 182% during the same period and the firewood boiler stock would rise by 7% until 2020 and then decrease slightly towards 2025. Total net growth of small biomass boilers during the 2010 to 2025 period would be around 11%.
Trends for biomass central heating
Around 85% of European households have a central heating system fitted. Following current trends, it is estimated that the proportion of biomass central heating in European households will increase by 65% between 2010 and 2020. The greatest growth potential would be in countries with lower central heating penetration and greater need per day in degrees, i.e., Bulgaria, Spain, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.

Biomass central heating installation in building renovations can also be highlighted as a potential sector for growth in the number of biomass boilers. The potential for building renovation is significantly greater in the west of Europe than the east.

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