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Tomorrow Today

Fast-Growing Wood as an Energy Crop

Wind, sun and biomass. Renewable energy sources are supposed to make up one third of Germany's energy mix by 2020. In order to help realize that goal many farmers are turning to short-rotation forestry. The state of Saxony has a number of plantations where willow, poplar and other fast-growing trees are being cultivated.

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Just a few years after planting, they are ready to be harvested. The wood, in the form of chips, is a good carbon-neutral fuel. More and more farmers are turning to these crops which, in contrast to grain, require no fertilizer and don't have to be replanted every year.