Fodder and biofuels can be produced in an ecologically acceptable manner on perennial grassland sites. Projected future climate-change scenarios suggest that Central Europes grasslands will be increasingly impacted by drought. We tested ten grass species: Agropyron elongatum, Agropyron intermedium, Agropyron desertorum, Agropyron trachycaulum, Elymus hoffmannii, Elymus junceus, Bromus inermis, Bromus marginatus, Festuca arundinacea and Panicum virgatum in comparison to four reference grasses (Dactylis glomerata, Arrhenatherum elatius, Agrostis gigantea and Agropyron repens). Experiments were conducted in small-plot cutting trials, with either one, two or three cuts per season. In the one-cut system, P. virgatum provided the highest average annual yield (14,258 kg DM ha-1), followed by A. elongatum (13,086 kg DM ha-1). The multi-annual persistence of these two species was given only when P. virgatum was not harvested before freezing off and A. elongatum was harvested only once per year. Due to the low ash melting risk and low chlorine contents, biomass of one-cut P. virgatum was favourable for combustion. However, the nitrogen, sulfur and ash contents in P. virgatum were high. This results in higher demands on the biomass-fired boilers. In the multiple-cut system, F. arundinacea showed a considerable yield (12,533 kg DM ha-1 average annual yield) and a low presence of associated flora (weeds; 0.1 % surface area). F. arundinacea is best suited for the production of biogas substrate. The panicle contents were low and the methane yields (3607 m3 ha-1) were high. F. arundinacea is also suitable for the production of structure-rich forage. Based on the rapid establishment of A. trachycaulum, this species is expected to be optimally suited as a cover crop. Integrating alternative grass species in existing crop rotation systems can positively contribute to groundwater protection, humus formation, erosion reduction and plant health.