Energy forestry

Energy forestry is a form of forestry in which a fast-growing species of tree or woody shrub is grown specifically to provide biomass or biofuel for heating or power generation.

The two forms of energy forestry are short rotational coppice and short rotation forestry :

  • Short rotation coppice may include tree crops of Poplar , Willow or Eucalyptus, grown for 2 to 5 years before harvest. [1]
  • Short rotation is being harvested from Alder , Ash , Birch , Eucalyptus , Poplar , and Sycamore , grown for 8 to 20 years before harvest.


The main advantage of using “grown fuels”, as opposed to fossil fuels such as coal , natural gas and oil , is that while they are growing they absorb the near-equivalent in carbon dioxide (an important greenhouse gas ) to that which is later released in their burning. [2] In comparison, burning fossil fuels increases atmospheric carbon unsustainably, by using carbon that was added to the earths carbon sink millions of years ago. This is a premium contributor to climate change .

According to the FAO , compared to other energy crops, is among the most efficient sources of bioenergy in terms of energy released by unit of carbon emitted. Another advantage of generating energy from trees, as opposed to growing crops, is that they can be harvested each year, the harvest can be reduced, and the production of end-uses. [3]

Yields of some varieties can be as high as 12 oven dry tons every year. [4] However, commercial experience on plantations in Scandinavia have shown lower yield rates. [5]

These crops can also be used in stabilization and phytoremediation . In fact, experiments in the United States of America and the United States of America have proved to be beneficial to the soil [6] and water quality [7] when compared to conventional crops (such as cereal).


Although in many areas of the world government is still required to support large scale development of energy forestry as an industry, it is seen as a valuable component of the renewable energy network and will be important in the future. [8]

Growing trees are relatively water intensive. quote needed ]

The system of energy forestry has been criticized over food vs. fuel, how it is financially profitable to replace food crops with energy crops. It has to be noted, however, that such energy forests are not necessarily important for food production as they can be grown on slopes, marginal, or degraded land as well – sometimes even with long-term restoration purposes in mind. quote needed ]

See also

  • Biomass
  • Biofuel
  • Energy crop
  • Food vs fuel
  • Issues relating to biofuels
  • Non food crops
  • Poplar
  • Short rotation coppice
  • Short rotation forestry
  • Treethanol
  • Willow


  1. Jump up^ “Establishing an SRC plantation” .
  2. Jump up^ “Potential seen to develop short-rotation forestry for wood fuel” .
  3. Jump up^ “Scientific Facts on Forests & Energy” . GreenFacts Website. 2009-03-13 . Retrieved 2009-03-25 .
  4. Jump up^ Aylott, MJ; Casella, E; Tubby, I; Street, NR; Smith, P; Taylor, G (2008). “Yield and spatial supply of bioenergy poplar and willow short-rotation coppice in the UK” (PDF) . New Phytologist . 178 (2): 358-370. doi :10.1111 / j.1469-8137.2008.02396.x . PMID  18331429 . Retrieved 2008-10-22 .
  5. Jump up^ Mola-Yudego, Blas; Aronsson, Pär (2008). “Yield models for commercial biomass plantations in Sweden” (PDF) . Biomass and Bioenergy . 32 (9): 829-837. doi : 10.1016 / j.biombioe.2008.01.002 . Retrieved 2009-05-11 .
  6. Jump up^ Dimitriou, Ioannis; Mola-Yudego, Blas; Aronsson, Pär; Eriksson, Jan (2012). “Changes in organic carbon and trace elements in the soil of short-rotation coppice plantations” (PDF) . Bioenergy Research . 5 (3): 563-572. doi : 10.1007 / s12155-012-9215-1 . Retrieved 2013-11-03 .
  7. Jump up^ Dimitriou, Ioannis; Mola-Yudego, Blas; Aronsson, Pär (2012). “Impact of willow Short Coppice Rotation on water quality” (PDF) . Bioenergy Research . 5 (3): 537-545. doi : 10.1007 / s12155-012-9211-5 . Retrieved 2013-11-03 .
  8. Jump up^ “Stern Review on the economics of climate change” . Archived fromthe original on 2006-12-09.