Project: Reducing environmental impacts of SRC through evidence based integrated decision supported tools

A rapid increase of agricultural land cultivated with SRC willow and poplar for production of biomass for heat and/or electricity is projected in the short-term in several European countries. A large-scale shift from “conventional” arable crops to SRC will have implications on a range of environmental issues. As a perennial crop, SRC differs from arable crops in physical traits and management practices. Results so far imply many positive environmental benefits due to SRC implementation but this depends on the existing or previous land-use, the scale of planting and the management practices applied. On the other hand, SRC is in some cases faced with reservation concerning its environmental impact since it is a new crop and gaps in knowledge might exist. A full-scale evaluation of SRC environmental impact not only in the micro-scale (studying effects in and near the SRC field) but also in macro-scale (regional) is currently missing. This project will provide with scientific evidence to evaluate the impact of SRC –positive and negative– on soil, water, biodiversity and landscape issues and also to propose ways to mitigate negative and increase positive impacts. Moreover, factors strengthening SRC as a sustainable energy generation system as the recycling of byproducts back to SRC will be considered in the general evaluation of SRC environmental impact. The main aim of this project is to accommodate decision-makers of different levels such as policy makers in local and government level, commercial actors, environmental and bioenergy agencies, farmers, landscape planners and other stakeholders with decision-makings support tools to assess the sustainability of SRC as agricultural crop for production of biomass for energy. These tools will be produced with the help of research experiments conducted within this project, but also by combining previous and current research results from work conducted by the consortium members.

Acronym RATING-SRC
Duration 01/09/2008 - 31/08/2011
Website visit project website
Network BIOENERGY FP6
Call 3rd Bioenergy Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Eberswalde University of Applied Sciences Germany
University of Rostock Germany
Chalmers University of Technology Sweden
Beckmann Institute for Bio-production technology lines Germany
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Coordinator Sweden
Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries Germany