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Biomass production in Swedish forests and on abandoned farmland: A potentially valuable asset.

Johansson, Tord


This report describes techniques and management practices for biomass production on forest land and farmland and provides an overview of the different types of biomass that can be cultivated in Sweden as energy sources. At present, most of the biomass that is used for energy generation in Sweden is derived from the residues generated by conventional forest management and thinning, such as tops, branches, thinning removals and stumps corresponding to about 143 TWh year-1. However, the country’s biomass production could be increased by cultivating appropriate tree species on areas of land that are unsuitable for current farming and forestry practices. In some cases, stands that are potentially suitable for biomass production have become established serendipitously: 100,000 hectares of former farmland in Sweden has experienced ingrowth by broadleaves (alder, aspen and birch), which has generated new stands of trees. Some of these areas now contain relatively large number of trees have grown (>5,000 stems ha-1). A few short rotation plantations of Salix on former farmland have been established over the last 20-30 years in Sweden. In addition, fast-growing hybrid poplar and hybrid aspen species have been planted on very small areas (<1,000 ha in total) of former farmland over the same period. This report provides an overview of the literature pertaining to such small-scale plantations for biomass production. The information presented will be useful to producers who wish to utilize the biomass themselves or to supply a market close to their property (e.g. their neighbors or a local heating plant). Finally, data on current biomass production and that which is likely to be achieved from young plantations of fast-growing species on farmland are presented.

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Publisher: SLU. Department of Energy and Technology

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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