German utility RWE Innogy Cogen has signed a contract with Eitelborn-based forest tree nursery P&P, to plant up to 10,000 hectares of fuel-wood plantations in Germany over the next four years.

RWE Innogy Cogen is already operating four biomass-fired cogeneration plants based on used wood. Obtaining fresh wood from fuel-wood plantations represents an important step towards safeguarding the fuel supply of the biomass-fired cogeneration plants planned for the future, according to RWE.

The agreement calls for parent tree nurseries to be initially created for fast growing tree varieties such as poplars over an area of 300 hectares. RWE’s goal is to achieve a 10,000-hectare sized fuel-wood plantation from these nurseries.

The expected yield is approximately 10 tonnes of dried wood mass per hectare. It will exclusively be used to generate carbon-neutral heat and electricity through the combined heat-and-power generation process in biomass cogeneration plants.

Stephan Lohr, managing director of RWE Innogy Cogen, said: Beginning the expansion of our own climate-friendly carbon-neutral energy resources is an important starting point for us in order to be able to offer our customers innovative and economically efficient energy supply schemes.