A team of scientists from Ventspils Dumas in Latvia have begun to experiment growing low-grade cannabis for fibre and other beneficial plant biomass products, which they hope will lower the cost of heating.
Ventspils is the first area in the country trying to grow the plant as alternative energy source.
Project team leader, Kristina Grinberga said: "The key is to find out whether it will be possible to use [hemp] as alternative energy, to explore the conditions under which they can grow, what soil is best".
Experimental plantations were embedded in different soils to assess the quality of the plant and recognise the most suitable species to grow in the North Kurzeme region.
Ventspils Duma chairman Aivars Lembergs said: "Our forests may run out of wood, so now we have to think about tomorrow. We use the European Union's support to make sure that the hemp will be able to replace the wood ".
According to scientists, the product might be better material for fuel than wood. If the hemp harvest is good, Ventspils residents will be provided by low cost energy produced at newly constructed boiler.
The Ventspils Duma experiment will finish at the end of next year.
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