Scope of the online library

The OpenFields content has now been migrated to its successor website, Food and Farming Futures

Renewable energy

  • Biomass & biofuel
    • The term 'biomass' most often refers to organic matter such as timber and crops which are grown specifically to be burned as 'biofuels' for the generation of energy as heat and power. As well as specifically grown crops, other agricultural by-products are also often referred to as biomass, such as straw, grain husks, forest products, waste wood and animal wastes such as slurry and chicken litter, as they can also be used as biofuels in the generation of energy.
    • Biomass is sustainable, and generally carbon neutral because the amount of carbon released through the combustion process is offset by the similar amount of carbon that was originally trapped in the organic matter by photosynthesis during its growth.
    • To be truly carbon-neutral we need to make sustainable use of plants or trees as fuel, (and replant them as we harvest them), so that the carbon is reabsorbed in a continuous cycle.
    • The most popular UK biomass crops are short rotation coppice, willow and poplar, Miscanthus (Elephant Grass), Reed Canary Grass and Oil Seed Rape.
  • Non-biological resource technologies
    • Non-biological renewable energy resources include solar energy, geothermal energy, energy from the wind or waves, and energy from tides.
    • Solar energy and geothermal energy are abundant and widely, (although unevenly) distributed. They are currently two of the least environmentally disruptive sources of power available.
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About this National Initiative

The OpenFields Library is a free online library containing items of interest to practitioners and researchers in the agricultural and landbased industries. It is now a component part of Food and Farming Futures.