Woody biomass includes wood, wood chips, wood residue and by-products, and dedicated, fast growing trees, bushes and shrubs. Programmes to utilise woody biomass can include the harvest, sale, offer, trade, or use of woody biomass to produce bioenergy, and the full range of biobased products including lumber, composites, paper and pulp, furniture, housing components, round wood, ethanol and other liquids, chemicals, and energy feedstocks.
Biomass is renewable and can be grown and used sustainably with limited impact on greenhouse gas emissions as growing more small woody trees compensates for any carbon emitted. Biomass in various forms has been a source of energy for thousands of years all around the world.
Using woody biomass is usually cost effective when the wood being used is by-product. Woody biomass harvested for heat and power is only one of several products from forests. Any increased use of biomass must be done in a way that does not jeopardise the rest of the timber industry and environmental standards.
A good example of using wood by-products for biomass is Christchurch's use of wood pellets for fuelling clean burning pellet-burners.