It’s no secret that we need more clean energy. What’s not so well known is the contribution purpose-grown woody biomass crops can make to a sustainable energy future in North America. Short rotation crops of hybrid shrub willow, for example, can produce large volumes of woody biomass and provide an array of environmental and socioeconomic benefits. Establishing the life-cycle economic benefits of short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) is critical to their adoption and widespread use. And in that respect, some hurdles remain, including scarcity of capital, underdeveloped supply chain, lack of knowledge and misunderstanding of environmental impacts. Nevertheless, considerable progress is being made in North America in developing this sensible source of renewable energy.