Willow has advanced as an energy crop but is the UK reaping the benefits?

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Karp, A., Macalpine, W. J. and Shield, I. F. 2010. Willow has advanced as an energy crop but is the UK reaping the benefits?

AuthorsKarp, A., Macalpine, W. J. and Shield, I. F.
Abstract

Short Rotation Coppice willow can produce biomass from low levels of input in a wide range of environments. Through conventional breeding, higher yielding biomass willows are being developed for the UK industry. Investment in research is improving our understanding of the biology of willow and the unique genetic resources and molecular tools that are being developed will improve the efficiency of selecting promising genotypes early in the breeding process. Life cycle analyses indicate that high GHG reductions are achievable for renewable heat, power and transport fuels from SRC. Willows also require low nitrogen inputs and have potential for carbon sequestration, bioremediation and enhancement of farmland biodiversity. Biomass is recognised as an important part of the UK renewable energy strategy. However, to encourage farmers to grow willow a stronger policy framework is needed which provides significant incentives to renewable energy produced from domestic biomass where multiple environmental benefits are demonstrable.

Keywords
Year of Publication2010
JournalJournal Of The Royal Agricultural Society Of England
Journal citation171, pp. 55-61
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or codeBCC
The BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC): Perennial Bioenergy Crops Programme
Genetic improvement of perennial biomass crops within a sustainable land use context
Copyright licensePublisher copyright

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