Short rotation coppice in the UK: A briefing for policymakers

Rokwood is an ambitious 3-year study involving partners from six European countries (Germany, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Sweden and UK) plus the European Biomass Association. ItPolicy briefs
exists to fuel dialogue between biomass research, industry, policy and business in order to fulfil the potential of woody crops like willow as a sustainable energy source. It is researching aspects of the development, implementation, monitoring and utilisation of short rotation coppice (SRC), also known as short rotation plantations (SRPs), for the regional production of wooden biomass. The project has completed two out of three years

It is funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme under the theme of ‘Transnational cooperation between regional research-driven clusters’, and involves 20 partner organisations. Each country is represented by a regional cluster of organisations comprising a relevant research body, business entity and local authority. The UK’s input is focussed on the South West, and involves Crops for Energy Ltd, the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Dorset County Council.

This set of policy briefs is designed to inform national and local policymakers on the most appropriate steps needed to develop the SRC industry.

One of the outputs of ROKWOOD is to develop a series of policy briefs designed to inform national and local policymakers, or indeed anyone with influence, on the most appropriate steps we think are needed to develop the SRC industry. The policy briefs include a set of four recommendations that we hope will encourage the right policy framework in the UK and enable the industry to finally achieve its full potential.

The four policy briefs deal with the following issues:

1. Evidence base review of short rotation coppice costs and benefits
2. Enabling short rotation coppice harvesting, storage and processing infrastructure to supply local heat markets
3. Lowering investment risk for short rotation coppice growers
4. Matching supply and demand to help achieve economies of scale

They can be downloaded here.