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Assessing the social, environmental and economic impacts of increasing rural land use under energy crops

A Relu Policy and Practice Note (No. 9) that summarises a research project investigating the implications of increasing the area used for growing the perennial biomass crops miscanthus and short rotation coppice (SRC) willow in the UK.

Year of Publication2009

Concerns over climate change and future fuel security have resulted in the development of renewable energies as a substitute for fossil fuels. Willow grown as short rotation coppice (SRC) and miscanthus are biomass crops with potential for renewable energy production in the UK. Policies are encouraging farmers to grow more of these crops to help reduce CO2 emissions. This would constitute a significant land use change. SRC willow and miscanthus are perennial, taller (3-5 m), deep-rooting and may attract different wildlife from conventional crops. This project aimed to identify the impacts of increasing land use under both crops, and to develop tools for assessing the potential effects of different expansion scenarios.

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Additional keywords/tags

greenhouse gasenergy crops
Organisation Logo for relu: Rural Economy and Land Use Programme

Harnessing the social and natural sciences for sustainable rural development

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