Irish green energy company Rural Generation has signed an agreement worth over Euro 5 million to source and provide willow chips, the main ingredient in the log.

The log and its production method, short rotation coppice, is a clean carbon neutral source of energy.

It will also benefit the local economy in providing jobs for Irish farmers in the clean energy sector.

Rural Generation managing director Tom Brennan said: “This contract clearly highlights that there is a definite market for willow and we are looking for farmers to sign up to 10-year contracts to supply the plant.

“This could provide a valuable business opportunity for tillage farmers who have excess drying capacity for part of the year.”

Rural Generation plans to plant 200ha of willow this year, increasing to 600ha next year to meet the estimated demand.

Alison Brown

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