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Rokwood: sustainable production of woody energy crops in Europe

A group of people stand next to some crops in a field

A three year study to address barriers and boost production of woody energy crops in Europe.

Project duration: March 2013 to November 2015

Rokwood was an ambitious three-year study in which the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) partnered with a number of UK and European organisations in six countries to look at ways to boost the sustainable production and use of woody energy crops.

Funded by the European Commission, the Rokwood study took as its focus the development, implementation, monitoring and utilisation of short rotation coppice (SRC), also known as short rotation plantations (SRPs), for the regional production of wooden biomass.

“Woody crops like willow have great potential as a sustainable energy source across Europe, but there are barriers to producing and using this kind of fuel more widely” said CSE’s Martin Holley. “Rokwood aimed to better understand these obstacles and barriers and to propose policy options that could help the industry gain momentum.”

It is also critically important to supply the European biomass market with home-grown feedstock, including energy crops preferably grown on non-premium farm land, which will help to minimise any imported material from the USA and other countries, much of which derives from the felling of existing forests.


Here are the main documents produced by Rokwood, all in English except where specified:

By gathering and reviewing shared experiences and best practice, one of the key outputs from the project was a Joint Action Plan that partners can take forward within their countries to boost energy crop production. This aimed to address the technical barriers to the use of wooden biomass (e.g. the technologies needed for harvesting and drying), along with funding opportunities for the development of innovative products and services, a series of policy briefs for local and regional authorities, and a range of dissemination materials and activities.

Rokwood was funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme under the theme of ‘Transnational cooperation between regional research-driven clusters’, and involved 20 partner organisations across six countries. Each country was represented by a regional cluster of organisations comprising a relevant research body, business entity and local authority. The UK’s input was focussed on the South West, coordinated by CSE, Crops for Energy Ltd and Dorset County Council.

The video below is a short introduction to Rokwood.

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