Sustainable and local renewable energy from reed
Reed biomass can be used as local source of bioenergy. Utilization of the reed beds benefit the local environment, biodiversity, landscape values and recreational uses. Bioenergy production can also spark new economic opportunities and stimulate entrepreneurship.
Cofreen's energy brochure can be dowloaded here. (In finnish)
Dry reed harvested during winter is well suited for combustion, either as is or combined with other materials. Common reed has a comparable energy density with other grass biomass, such as cultivated reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea).
The current price of energy doesn't cover the costs from harvesting, transporting and shredding of reed. Therefore reed cannot be used in an economically viable way as a biofuel if taking only the material benefits into account. Nevertheless the harvesting of reed creates many immaterial benefits, which can be worthwhile and in some places even necessary. The immaterial benefits gained from carefully executed reed harvesting promote:
The naturally renewable material obtained with these measures is profitable to use as biofuel, unless the quality of material is good enough for construction use. As a whole, the use of reed as an energy source can be considered lucrative, when taking into account also the values that are more difficult to evaluate.
Moisalo, Mikko. 2011. Utilizing winter reed as local bioenergy (in Finnish)
thatching workshop and lectures