The wood pellet and the wood pellet stove were invented in the United States but Europe took the lead in developing wood pellet technologies by gradually and steadily incentivizing wood heat. Today, a significant portion of pellets produced in the southern US and Canada are exported to Europe because they are not valued as a heating source here to the extent biomass for electricity is.
U.S. state and national lawmakers can look to the leadership shown in several EU nations for examples to successfully promote the widespread use of biomass heat. The European Biomass Association (AEBIOM) believes that EU Member States need to "consider heat in RES development in their country. Sometimes heat is neglected to the profit of electricity or liquid biofuels only and this might lead to a poor efficiency in biomass use."Austria, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy have taken these warnings to heart since the 1980s and 1990s, and have a significant head start on the United States in utilizing biomass to curb global warming and offset rising fossil fuel prices. The selected readings in this section describe the state thermal biomass in Europe and what policies and practices helped get them there.