Specified Biomass Harvesting – Good Practice Guidance for Energy Assortment Harvesting at Clearfell

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) has identified the valuable, renewable biomass fuel resource provided by Specified Biomass Harvesting (SBH), which is an abundant source of renewable fuel for use in larger scale heat and power generation. This report provides a guide for foresters and stakeholders on how to harvest SBH without adversely affecting the forest or local ecosystems and environment.

Ireland’s forestry resource has the potential to provide large volumes of by-product material for energy use through harvesting specified biomass during normal thinning and harvesting operations. This by-product material, which is in addition to the harvesting of timber and pulp products, is usually described as the side branches and tops of trees – material also known as brash, which will otherwise be left in the forest site. By harvesting this material through specified means, it is possible to generate large volumes of useful biomass for energy while enhancing sustainable forest management practices. It is critically important that this harvesting is carried out in a manner that protects the future productivity of the forest, the local ecosystems, and water courses. This guide, which was developed by the Irish Bioenergy Association with contributions from its members and associated organizations and stakeholders, will greatly assist foresters and other stakeholders in determining what material can be harvested while ensuring optimal forest production and protection of the local environment.

Read the full report here.