Renewable and fossil fuels
Of the alternative energy sources that are intended to contribute to a balanced and reliable overall mix of different energies in future years, renewable resources such as wood have become firmly established. Unlike the fossil fuels – petroleum, natural gas and coal – which are finite resources, renewable resources are repeatedly available as they continuously regenerate themselves in specific cycles.
Good climate performance
The good climate performance of renewable resources in energy production results:
- from the extent to which they replace fossil fuels;
- from the essentially climate-neutral cycle involving release of CO2 when used as an energy source and the recapture of carbon through photosynthesis during growth;
- from the fact that state-of-the-art and energy-efficient technology is used, as for example in cogeneration plants.
Our short-rotation coppice (SRC) plantations
In our short-rotation coppice (SRC) plantations, we use fast-growing tree species such as willows and poplars. We plant cuttings, the wood growth from which is harvested after three to four years and utilised to produce both energy and materials. These three-to-four year cycles of growth and harvest are repeated over a total period of at least two decades.
Lower energy inputs
In terms of both inputs and outputs, SRC is more resource-effective than production of other energy crops. With regard to energy expenditure from planting up until the time when biomass becomes available for heat or power, climate performance is much better than maize, for example. On the strength of its ecological, economic and social constants, SRC satisfies the criteria for sustainability.
Our short-rotation coppice sites
We value and use SRC plantations as a modern, responsible way to manage land and obtain energy sources. Since 2010, we have been pursuing extensive SRC projects, especially in Lithuania. Our total actively managed area under this land use currently stands at 2,400 hectares.