I attended my first event as a CLA member yesterday in Lincolnshire on the growing of miscanthus for energy. The event was hosted by Terravesta who are leaders in providing biomass for power plants. The event provided an overview of the benefits of growing miscantus and the longer term financial advantages compared with annual crops. The main difference is that the crop is perennial having 10 year life cycle. Terrvesta marry the growing of the crop with harvesting, transport and the sale of the crop to the various energy plants around the country. We also learnt that smaller energy plants fueled by biomass are being built around the country.
The event included a site visits to inspect two nearby farms where miscantus has been established for a number of years. You can get an idea of the size of the crop from the adjoining picture, it grows to 3/4 metres high. There are also added benefits as miscantus can help eradicate problems weeds such as blackgrass which is causing problems for cereal growers across the UK.