Finding and producing alternative energy sources, especially renewable energy sources is becoming an urgent concern as conventional energy resource reservers are diminishing and as their market prices increase.
Seen as an alternative renewable energy source, production of energy willow has the advantage that apart from a high caloric power, it is also non-polluting.
By extending the energy willow plantations, apart from being a renewable energy source, it puts to use unused lands, it avoids or reduces considerably the necessity of deforestation generated by the need of cheap fuel.
S.C. AGRIFARM S.R.L. establised a 40 ha energy willow nursery with the TORDIS and INGER varieties, purchased from Lantmännen Agroenergi, varieties that are resistant and aclimatised to the climatic conditions in our country. Our company, together with other two companies in Romania obtained from Lantmannen Agroenergi the license to market, plant and harvest energy willow. The company is panning on establishing in the next 3 to 5 years a plantation of energy willow on a surface of 500 - 600 ha.
At its roots, this variety has been created to serve as an energy under different forms of fuel (the mince for power plants, briquettes, pellets). The high caloric power (4.700 - 5.000 kcal) makes it comparable with other solid wood based fuel sources, but it is also one of the cheapest if we take into account the price / quality ratio, as compared with other energy sources like natural gas, coal and oil.
The life span of an energy willow plantation is of 25 - 30 years, where in the first year the production is very low, of about 10-15 tons / ha (this is when the root is under development), but in the next years the anual output is around 30-45 tons per ha (and as high as 50-60 t/ha in Hungary, according to swedish statistics).
In agriculture, various plants made it on the list of plants, commonly described as "energy" plants. These inluce rape, sugar cane, energy grass and various species as acacia, poplar and willow.
The most spectacular results were obtained with willow. If all the other plants require 3 to 5 years before being harvested and being used to produce energy, the willow can be harvested yearly, with a total wood mass of 30-60 t/ha.
S.C. AGRIFARM S.R.L. is a member of the Energy Willow Growers Association of Romania, association founded in 2011 at Timișoara, with the purpose of representing the interests of energy willow growers of Romania. The association is based on the experiences of a group of people that knew how to combine the needs of agriculture with the needs of industry, so that it can offer a wide range of products and services to interested parties: offering energy willow cuttings (all varieties licensed by the Lantmännen groups from Sweden), tehnical and professional help, surface selection, soil preparation, organisation of mechanical planting and harvesting operations, mincing and transporting the harvest and the logisitcs required, as well as receiving the resulting biomass.