The Northern Irish Ministry of Agriculture will fund the use of willow as a renewable energy.
The Challenge Fund for Short Rotation Coppice Energy Crops aims to increase the amount of willow grown for an energy end use. The Challenge Fund is open to farmers, District Councils, co-operatives, and other landowners. At least three hectares must be established on land that is capable of being ploughed prior to planting.
Applicants will have to show that an energy user is prepared to buy their harvested coppice, or that they will burn it themselves, either in existing plant or in planned installations.