Sustainable woody biomass production systems: a novel solution for energy, agriculture and the environment in Portugal Conference Paper uri icon


  • Bioenergy is a major current issue within the agriculture and energy sectors and the society in general. The environmental and social concerns raised by first generation biofuel crops increased the interest on woody biomass. Biomass production for direct conversion to heat and/or electricity is common in northern European countries, the USA, and, more recently, southern Europe, mainly based on short rotation woody crops (SRWC). These crops are renewable sources of energy, CO2 neutral, able to preserve biodiversity and water, and to contribute to socio-economic development. In Portugal, there is an increasing demand of renewable and sustainable sources of energy. Portugal also presents conditions to expand biomass production and use for energy, namely through SRWCs. There is, however, a lack of experience in this field. With the purpose of studying short rotation woody crops dedicated to energy production, we have launched in Bragança, Portugal, a research project aiming to develop technology for the sustainable production, processing, and use of woody biomass for energy. The goal is to analyse environmental and socio-economic aspects of these crops considering carbon cycle, conservation of water, soils, and biodiversity, as well as creation of wealth locally. It also aims to evaluate the potential of northeastern Portugal for biomass production and carbon sequestration. In this presentation we address the rational behind the project, the methodologies followed, and the results obtained during the first year of the study. We also present our perspectives on the role of woody biomass production at several scales and for several scenarios.
  • Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. (PTDC/AGR‐CFL/64500/2006)

publication date

  • January 1, 2008