Biomass and Energy Crops

Biomass and energy crops

In the UK biomass crops grown are predominantly willows (Salix spp) grown in short-rotation coppice and perennial grasses especially miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus). Research is being conducted on the suitability of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea).

Funding for growing willow and perennial grasses for biomass on agricultural land can be obtained from Natural England.

Biomass crops can be used in a variety of ways including co-firing with coal in power stations, combined heat and power plants (CHP) and small scale wood burning stoves. Ely Power Station at 38MW, is the largest straw burning power station in the world generating over 270GWh each year.

It is not just biomass crops that can be utilised for energy and heat generation. In the East of England there are two poultry litter power plants. The 38.5MW plant in Thetford, Norfolk, is Europe's largest biomass chicken litter fuelled electricity generator. The 12.7MW power station in Eye, Suffolk was the world's first poultry litter fuelled generating plant. The litter is sourced from a large number of farms in the region, and the combustion ashes produced by the power stations are marketed as high quality agricultural fertiliser.


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Our sustainable land management services

At Cambridge Eco we believe in an integrated approach to farming, conservation and the environment.

We provide advice to land managers for grant and funding applications including RDPE and Environmental Stewardship.


Areas of expertise include:

* Implications for climate change on agricultural production

* Renewable materials resulting from agricultural production

* Environmental Stewardship

* Soil science – nutrient cycling and leaching

* Fertiliser use and efficiency

* Nutrition of arable, horticultural and glasshouse crops

* Nitrogen nutrition

* Impacts of nutrients on the environment

* Mass balances in agriculture


A number of our associate consultants are BASIS and FACTS qualified.