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In the past twenty years woody biomass has been recognised as an important biomass source which can be used primarily for heat generationcombustion.


One tonne of willow has an energy content of 13.2 Giga Joules (GJ) (at 20% moisture), so one hectare produces 172 GJ of energy per year. For comparison 1000 litres of home heating oil has an energy content of 38 GJ meaning that one hectare of willow wood chip at 20% moisture has the same energy content as 4,500 litres home heating oil. This figure will vary slightly depending on moisture content and annual yield. The ROI and the UK have challenging targets to increase energy production from renewable sources and to reduce the production of greenhouse gases (GHGs).

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Perennial biomass crops like miscanthus and short rotation coppice have the potential to meet energy demands as renewable fuels, helping to reduce GHG emissions and strive towards Net Zero.

Willow, a fast-growing and versatile plant, has gained prominence as a biomass crop due to its numerous applications and environmental benefits. Willow's suitability for biomass production arises from its rapid growth, ability to adapt to various soil types, and its capacity to be sustainably harvested.