Food, wood or fuel? Where is the land for growing dedicated energy crops in the United Kingdom

Weatherall, Andrew (2009) Food, wood or fuel? Where is the land for growing dedicated energy crops in the United Kingdom. Forestry Journal (5). pp. 26-27.

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Official URL: https://www.forestryjournal.co.uk/forestry-journal

Abstract

The principle of using agricultural land to grow grasses (such as miscanthus) and marginal land to grow trees (in short rotation coppice and/or short rotation forestry systems) as dedicated energy crops in the United Kingdom is now well established. Dedicated energy crops have been described as having the potential to provide:
• cheaper fuel due to the probable long-term increases in fossil fuel prices associated with peak oil,
• improved energy security,
• a reduction in carbon emissions as this renewable resource can provide a more carbon lean form of energy.
However, planting dedicated energy crops will reduce the land available for other land use sectors in the UK, specifically for the domestic supply of food and wood products. A recent Chatham House report Food futures; rethinking UK strategy recognised that, “Questions are arising about the availability, accessibility and affordability of food, land, water, energy and skills,” but failed to include our continued requirement for wood (Ambler-Edwards et al, 2009). It is important to understand the extent to which land in the UK is currently able to supply both the food and the wood demand of our population. Determining the degree to which we are self-sufficient in food and wood will enable us to consider whether there is sufficient land available for the large-scale planting of dedicated energy crops to make a viable contribution to our future energy requirement.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Forestry Journal
Publisher: Forestry Journal
ISSN: 1756-3275
Departments: Faculty of Health and Science > Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies > Forestry, Conservation & Applied Science
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2010 19:56
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2017 11:58
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/820

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