Buying Spanish wood for winter fuel, prepping for an uncertain winter in the EU 2022/23, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
This will be winter number eighteen for us here in Spain, the first years were spent in a cave house with fantastic insulation while more recently it’s been warehouse living, colder [and hotter] but masses of space. Each has it’s pros and cons but one thing that has always remained the same is our winter wood delivery.
Each winter we buy a trailer load of almond wood, there is also the choice of olive wood too but we prefer almond as it has a more agreeable aroma. 2022 has been pretty unstable on many fronts thus far and we all know the issues facing the European Union when it comes to gas supply from Russia and the forthcoming ‘hard winter’. Never before have we had to think ahead as much when it comes to heating which is why we organised our winter wood delivery in the summer – 5 months before we usually order.
Spain gets its gas from Algeria although there have been diplomatic rows over the whole export situation surrounding that and Morocco – you don’t upset your only gas supplier when Russia is threatening to shut off Nord stream 1 but hey, it’s Spain.
No matter what happens there is only one thing for sure and that is it will have a knock on effect. If the rest of Europe begins to suffer through a cold winter with insufficient gas from Russia, Spain won’t be immune to the effects of that – it simply doesn’t work that way when the entire energy market is already unstable.
Hence the early delivery in case prices begin to climb… A full trailer of almond costs around €450 euros and the price per kilo is 12 cents.
Advantages of buying winter wood early
Buying early has quite a few benefits, first of all when you have your wood you have it, ready for winter and no looming expense just before Christmas. Assuming that you have somewhere to stack your wood under cover the wood dries out/seasons making it burn better when it comes to using it which is way better for your chimney flue [some wood can be delivered quite fresh]
You can build on it, mixing hard wood with soft wood like pine makes it last longer across the winter and pine will always make starting the fire easier especially if you have ‘big’ almond or olive. It’s worth noting that dried oak is also available but the cost per kg is higher.
Back to basics [if you have to]
With no electric heating or gas central heating wood is our only choice to heat the iternal living space in the building. Sure, we can plug in radiators, on low to take th edge off but at current prices it is simply too expensive. Gas bottle heaters are popular in Spain but they creat dampness in the home and smell aweful so for us it’s wood, it is the most economical way to provide heat but that is not all.
In 2022 the Spanish government capped butane gas bottle prices – just under €20 euros for your standard home gas bottle, this was done before the prices ran away like they did with petrol and diesel. This is not a long term solution however and is due to be reviewed again at the end of the year – in the winter.
No matter how optimistic we are there is only one thing for certain and that is that energy prices are going to increase. You can cook on wood, had we been living in the UK we’d be restricted to gas or electric – no choice. Wood however offers flexibility to warm the home and provide fuel for cooking, doing both at the same time.
If the apocalypse hits we have wood for free if needs be, living in rural Spain means you will never go cold as long as you have the ability to collect wood.