The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has published the results of three case studies which show how farmers can diversify their income under secure long-term contracts, and increase the productivity of their land, by planting perennial energy crops such as Miscanthus and Short Rotation Coppice willow. This work was led by ADAS in collaboration with E4tech during 2015-2016, building on E4tech’s previous work on energy crop business models for the ETI under their ‘Enabling UK Biomass’ programme.
The three case studies found that planting energy crops can increase the profitability of farmland over a plantation lifetime and that initial investment costs can be paid back within six to seven years. Food production impacts can also be minimised or avoided by optimising the use of land across the farm, either through using currently underutilised land, intensifying existing farm activities, or planting on fields unsuitable for arable cropping or grazing.
Learn more about E4tech’s work in biomass resources here.