Energy Crops in Ireland: An Assessment of their Potential Contribution to Sustainable Agriculture, Electricity and Heat Production

Synthesis Report for the ERTDI-funded project: 2004-SD-DS-17

Summary: ERTDI Report 70 - David Styles and Michael Jones

Published: 2008

ISBN: 1-84095-240-7

Pages: 70

Filesize: 1,304 KB

Format: pdf


This report assesses the potential contribution of energy crops to sustainable development in Ireland, quantifying their potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through displaced agricultural land uses, and heat and electricity generation. An economic assessment of energy crops is also made from the perspective of farm producers, consumers, and a national cost–benefit analysis. Additional major environmental impacts are also considered. Energy crops were selected for study as a promising GHG-reduction strategy on the basis of increased conventional fuel prices, and decreased returns for conventional agricultural production since decoupling of subsidies from production in January 2005. Detailed evaluation was limited to the promising energy crops Miscanthus and short-rotation coppice willow (SRCW).