Sustainably cultivated fast growing trees in agriculture are offering a cost-efficient way to capture CO2 from the air, storing it in an ideal product, called wood. Afterwards the carbon may be employed in our future bioeconomy or locked away, e.g. in permanent wood-buildings or bio-char for soil-improvement.
Planting trees an agricultural land, additionally provides plenty additional benefits, such as:
- Improvement of soil structure, protection of soil against water and wind erosion, preventive flood control;
- Conservation and enhancement of biological diversity by creating and preserving natural habitats;
- Water protection by reducing fertiliser and pesticide inputs;
- Climate stewardship by reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
- Maintenance and preservation of cultural landscapes; and
- Animal welfare.
By incident, the list above is identical with the EU’s goals regarding Agri-Environment-Climate Measures (AECMs).
In the EU-28, 42% of all renewable energy is based on wood (wood and other solid biofuels). eurostat Renewable Energy Statistics 2019. In the heating and process-energy sector (steam), sustainable wood-fuels are crucial for a rapid and cost efficient transition to climate neutrality. Specifically in the building and packaging sector wood is already today experiencing rapid growth of demand.
If natural gas or fuel oil for heating purposes is replaced by wood from dedicated agricultural tree-plantings, economic viability is usually achieved already today.