Can renewable energy power the world?
Can renewable energy power the world?

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Can renewable energy power the world?

4.4.1 Woody biomass

Well-managed forests can provide a sustainable fuel source, reducing atmospheric CO2 as the trees grow, storing it for up to a few centuries and providing a substitute for fossil fuel when felled.

Figure 5 A field of short rotation coppice (SRC) willow

In recent years there has been increased interest in woody crops planted and harvested entirely for energy production.

Activity 2

What is the most common management system for these types of woody crops?

Answer

The most common management system for these types of crop is short rotation forestry (SRF), and a less widespread variant known as short rotation coppicing (SRC). The ‘rotation’ is the periodic cutting of the wood every 8–20 years, with the trees then being re-planted or, for suitable SRC species, left to regrow from the stump after harvesting every 3–5 years.

The cellulose in plants that are non-woody is also used to provide fuel, and you’ll move on to this subject next.

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