Sand willows are slowing the Gobi Desert's spread in Mongolia, according to Greening The Desert blog. The trees will be used to generate electricity at power plants in the region
According to Greening the Desert
In early 2007, the first desert biomass thermal power plant was constructed near to an existing methanol chemical plant, two kilometres away. The power plant uses the waste water from the methanol plant, and the biomass residue can be further processed into potassium fertilizer. The power plant is slated to begin operation early next year and will generate some 180–210 million kWh of electricity annually.
It will be interesting to see if the willows are sustainable, whether they can extract enough water to grow for several cycles of harvesting and whether they can help to stabilise the soil in the longer term.