Possibilities to increase the yield potential of sugar beet based on the physiological processes of yield formation are presented. For sugar beet it seems to be promising to improve the yield potential through enhanced light interception. Early sowing, possible already in autumn, results in accelerated leaf formation and thereby improved interception of the intense radiation in early summer. However, there is no information to what extend the enhanced light interception can be converted into yield. Since sugar beet store sucrose as a low molecular carbohydrate its radiation use efficiency (produced biomass per intercepted radiation) is much higher compared to plants, which produce proteins, lipids or cellulose. Therefore, with the same assimilation sugar beet achieves a considerably higher yield potential. In the past, a shift from structural carbohydrates (leaves, cell wall material) to storage carbohydrates (sucrose) in sugar beet occurred. Thus, the observed yield increase may be attributed to a change in the harvest index. Because of the high yield potential and the high amount of easily fermentable carbohydrates sugar beet is the ideal crop for the production of bioethanol and biogas.